Twins born in Tennessee have completed a remarkable 30-year journey – all the way from embryos which were frozen in 1992. Lydia Ann and Timothy Ronald Ridgeway are believed to have set a new record for the longest-frozen embryos resulting in a successful live birth.
The embryos were stored in liquid nitrogen at roughly -128C (-200F) on April 22, 1992.
Rachel Ridgeway, who already has four other children, gave birth to the pair on October 31.
The National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC), is a private faith-based organisation which says it has helped give life to more than 1,200 infants from donated embryos.
Molly Gibson, the NEDC’s previous record-holder, was born in 2020 from an embryo frozen almost 27 years ago.
Dr John David Gordon, who performed the embryo transfer, said: “The decision to adopt these embryos should reassure patients who wonder if anyone would be willing to adopt the embryos that they created 5, 10, 20 years ago.
“That answer is a resounding yes!”
Both embryos were created for an anonymous married couple via IVF.
The man was aged in his 50s and used a 34-year-old egg donor.
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The embryos were stored at a fertility lab on the US west coast until 2007, at which point they were donated to the NEDC in Knoxville, Tennessee for another couple to use them instead.
Embryologists at Southeastern Fertility, the NEDC’s partner clinic, thawed them out and transferred them to Ms Ridgeway’s uterus earlier this year.
The NEDC said it hoped the news would “encourage others to experience the blessings of embryo adoption for themselves”.
The twins are the first she and husband Philip – whose other children are aged between one and eight – have had via IVF or donors.
Mr Ridgeway told CNN: “I was five years old when God gave life to Lydia and Timothy, and he’s been preserving that life ever since.
“In a sense, they’re our oldest children, even though they’re our smallest children.”
“There is something mind-boggling about it.”