A 26-year-old woman has given birth to a healthy baby girl from an embryo that was frozen in 1992.
Tina and Benjamin Gibson married seven years ago, but assumed they would never have biological children because Benjamin suffers from genetic disorder cystic fibrosis, which commonly associated with male infertility.
So, when Tina’s father suggested an embryo adoption, through which couples donate their leftover frozen embryos to other pairs trying to conceive through in vitro fertilization (IVF). They decided to go to the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC), in Knoxville.
Tina became pregnant from a frozen embryo transfer in March at age 25, just a year older than the embryo she and her husband used to conceive.
“Do you realize I’m only 25?” Gibson, now 26, told CNN she remembers thinking. “This embryo and I could have been best friends.”
Granted, the Gibsons’ case was a bit unusual—though they didn’t know it until well into the process. “I just wanted a baby,” Tina told CNN. “I don’t care if it’s a world record or not.”
Nonetheless, Emma—who was delivered on Nov. 25 by Jeffrey Keenan, NEDC’s medical director—is certainly special. Several experts who spoke to CNN noted that the embryo previously believed to be the oldest to result in a healthy baby had been frozen for only 20 years.
“It is very rewarding for me to see that the techniques that we were using 25 years ago to freeze the embryos did preserve them to the extent that they could survive being thawed,” Sommerfelt says. “If embryos are maintained correctly…those embryos could be good indefinitely. In other words, they’re frozen in time.”
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