Longest-frozen embryo is born after being preserved for 24 years

Emma Wren was conceived just over a year after her adoptive mother’s birth

Sabrina Barr
Wednesday 20 December 2017 10:38

A baby has been born after becoming the longest-frozen embryo after being cryopreserved for 24 years.

When Tina Gibson and her husband Benjamin dreamt of becoming parents, they probably didn’t realise that they’d be breaking a world record in the process.

The Gibsons, from Tennessee, decided to make their wishes a reality with the help of the National Embryo Donation Centre (NEDC) in America.

Their daughter, Emma Wren, was born on November 25 after NEDC Medical Director Dr. Jeffrey Keenan performed a frozen embryo transfer (FET).

However, even though Emma was delivered this year, she was frozen as an embryo on October 14 1992.

This means that she now holds the record for the longest-frozen embryo to come to birth.

The world’s first baby to be born after being frozen as an embryo was in Australia in 1984, according to the National Fertility Support Centre.

It’s also believed that the number of births by embryo donation - meaning that cryopreserved embryos have been donated to other couples - is increasing by 25 per cent every year, as stated by the Embryo Adoption Awareness Centre.

Tina and Benjamin were blessed with their baby Emma through embryo donation, and they couldn’t be happier.

“Emma is such a sweet miracle,” Benjamin said. “I think she looks pretty perfect to have been frozen all those years ago.”

Carol Sommerfelt, NEDC lab director, recalled the moment the Gibsons first laid their eyes on the embryos during the transfer process.

“I will always remember what the Gibsons said when presented with the picture of their embryos at the time of transfer: ‘These embryos could have been my best friends,’ as Tina herself was only 25 at the time of transfer,” she said.

Many have found the Gibsons’ story very inspiring, as it could signify the potential for even more people to become parents through frozen embryo technology in the future.

“Such a precious blessing!!”, one person wrote on Facebook, with another writing: “So amazing!

“Everyday I am amazed by the concept of embryo adoption and how blessed my family has been for this process and for the NEDC.”

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