Breaking the previous record, an Oregon couple has welcomed twins from embryos frozen 30 years ago in April 1992, reports CNN. The first known record holder was Molly Gibson, who was born in 2020 from an embryo that had been frozen for nearly 27 years. The Oregon twins, dubbed “the world’s oldest babies,” were born on October 31 to Rachel Ridgeway and Philip Ridgeway.
The National Embryo Donation Center says the twins, named Lydia and Timothy Ridgeway, are the longest frozen embryos to result in a live birth. While baby girl Lydia was born at 5 pounds, 11 ounces (2.5 kg), baby boy Timothy was born at 6 pounds, 7 ounces (2.92 kg).
The children were the result of embryo donation, usually from parents who have extra embryos after successfully having children through in vitro fertilization (IVF). Thirty years ago, an anonymous donor couple who used in vitro fertilization donated embryos that had been cryopreserved at 200 degrees below zero. The embryos were frozen on April 22, 1992, and remained in cold storage at the West Coast Fertility Laboratory until 2007, when the couple donated them to the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC). Fifteen years later, the frozen embryos gave birth to Lydia and Timothy.
The Ridgeways, who already have four other children ages 8, 6, 3 and nearly 2, decided to have more children using donated embryos. When they were looking for donors, the couple looked specifically into a category called “special consideration,” meaning embryos for which it was difficult to find a recipient.
Mr Ridgeway told CNN: “We weren’t looking to get the embryos that have been frozen the longest in the world. We just want the ones that have been waiting the longest. Some mind boggling about it.” In a sense, they are our youngest children, even if they are our youngest children.”
“I was 5 years old when God gave life to Lydia and Timothy, and he has been preserving that life ever since,” said the happy father.
There are countless IVF-created embryos that have five options on their future path, said Harvard Medical School fertility specialist Ellen S. Glazer. The options are:
1. The embryo can be discarded
2. The couple can decide to have an additional child
3. The embryos can be donated to Science
4. The embryos can be donated to another person or couple
5. Decide not to decide
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