Twin babies born from embryos frozen 30 years ago

Twin babies born recently in Knoxville, Tennessee, may be the longest frozen embryos ever to be born.

When Rachel Ridgway gave birth on Oct. 31, healthy twins came from embryos donated 30 years ago, according to CNN.

“There is something mysterious about it all,” said her husband, Philip. “In a sense, they are our oldest children, even though they are the youngest.”

The family has four other children, ages 8, 6, 3 and about 2, but none were conceived through IVF or donors.

The embryos originally belonged to an anonymous married couple at a West Coast fertility clinic, derived from the husband’s sperm and the eggs of a 34-year-old donor. The couple later donated the embryos to the National Embryo Donation Center, according to CNN.

When the Ridgeways began their journey to have more children, they consulted the center in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Twins born from embryos frozen 30 years ago - and break records

“We never had a specific number of children in mind,” Philip explains. “We always thought we would have whatever God wanted us to have, and when we heard about embryo adoption, we thought that’s something we’d like to do.”

The five embryos were thawed on February 28 and three were viable. Rachel chose to carry all three.

“You just showed me a picture of my three kids,” she recalled. “I must have them all.”

However, only two of the embryos were successfully transferred. According to studies, about 25% to 40% of frozen embryos result in birth.

Despite how long embryos can be stored, liquid nitrogen can preserve them for decades, according to fertility doctors.

“It seems that a sperm or an egg or an embryo stored in liquid nitrogen never experiences time,” notes Dr. Jim Toner, a fertility specialist in Atlanta.

Recently, twins Lydia and Timothy, weighing around 2.5kg each, were officially born – after around 30 years of preparation and breaking the previous record for the longest-lived fetuses to be born.

Twins born from embryos frozen 30 years ago - and break records

In 2020, more than 27 years after her embryo was first frozen, Molly Everett Gibson was born to parents Tina and Ben Gibson.

“Molly was captured and frozen 28 years ago, just a year and a half after Tina herself was born,” NEDC marketing director Mark Mellinger told People magazine at the time. “At least impressive.”

Twins Lydia and Timothy Ridgeway already 'age 30' at birth

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