The children who came from the cold: twins born from embryos frozen for 30 years

On October 31, Rachel Ridgeway gave birth to twins, Lydia and Timothy Ridgeway, in a hospital in Tennessee, USA. The birth would have been as normal as any other hospital birth, except that the twins were conceived in 1992, reports CNN.

Rachel and her husband Philip are already parents to four other children, but a few years ago they came across the term embryo donation and decided to have more children by undergoing a medical procedure in which frozen embryos are implanted into a female embryo.

Why are embryos frozen?
Couples who have difficulty conceiving naturally often turn to procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), in which the male sperm and female egg are fertilized in a laboratory to increase the chances of success. A donor egg or sperm can also be used in this procedure, which often leads to the creation of several embryos, of which only some are transplanted.

The rest of the embryos can be donated for medical research purposes or cryopreserved for future use by the same couple or by others who wish to have children. In the case of twins Lydia and Timothy, they were among five frozen embryos for an unidentified couple in April 1992.

They remained frozen in liquid nitrogen at nearly 200 degrees below zero and were stored in a fertility center in West Coat until 2007, after the couple donated them to the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) in Knoxville. in Tennessee, hoping that they would be made available to another couple for "embryo adoption".

While it is not technically or legally an adoption process, couples can choose to have their embryos implanted without having to go through the costly and time-consuming process of IVF. In this scenario, the parents do not have a genetic relationship with the child, even if they can do it directly, but they can follow the process of getting pregnant and growing up a child.

The NEDC is a private faith-based organization that requires embryo recipients to be in a heterosexual relationship, have been married for at least three years, and undergo a family evaluation, before providing them with embryos for medical procedure.

Hopeful parents who have gone through this process access the database where donor characteristics are noted, such as ethnicity, age, height, weight, health history, education, occupation, musical orientation and so on, and they can choose the embryos they like.

When Rachel and Philip Ridgeway learned of this possibility, they wanted to give these frozen embryos a chance to be born and choose the ones that were waiting the longest.

The five embryos were sent to a medical centre, where they were thawed after 30 long years. Two were found to be non-vital, while the couple decided to implant the remaining three, a procedure performed in March of this year. Studies have shown that frozen embryos have a 25-40% chance of being born alive, but in this case, two out of three embryos carry the pregnancy to term. “I was 5 when God gave life to Lydia and Timothy, and he's been preserving that life ever since,” Philip, father of the twins, told CNN. “There is something astounding about this. In a sense, they are our oldest children, even if they are the youngest."

The previous record, set in 2020, was for an embryo frozen for 20 years.

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The article Babies who came from the cold: twins born from embryos frozen for 30 years comes from Scenari Economici .

This is a machine translation of a post published on Scenari Economici at the URL on Thu, 24 Nov 2022 08:00:35 +0000.