Twins break the world record for being born from what researchers believe to be the longest-frozen embryos to result in a successful birth. The embryos were created 30 years ago, which means the twin babies were already 30 years old at birth.
The science and other stuff to know
Since the first baby conceived through IVF was born in 1978, scientific advancements in reproduction have come by leaps and bounds. So much so that modern scientists can create and freeze embryos in liquid hydrogen for decades.
Recently, twins broke the world record after being born from an embryo frozen for 30 years. The embryos, which came from an anonymous couple using IVF, had been frozen since April 1992, IFLScience reported.
Medically, this process is called “embryo donation.” When someone undergoes IVF, they can create more embryos than they use. As a result, they can opt to have their embryos cryopreserved for future use in birth research or, as in this case, donated to others who are trying to have children.
According to the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC), the twins, named Lydia and Timothy Ridgeway, set a new record for the longest frozen embryo to lead to a successful birth. They beat the previous record holder of Molly Gibson, who was born in 2020 and came from a 27-year-old embryo. Molly took the record from her sister Emma, who was born from an embryo frozen for 24 years, CNN reported.
Along with saving frozen embryos from potentially being destroyed, embryo donation can be tens of thousands of dollars cheaper than conventional IVF. This is because the embryos have already been created.
In fact, NEDC claims it has helped with the births of more than 1,260 infants from donated embryos. In a statement, the NEDC stated it hoped the news of Lydia and Timothy would “encourage others to experience the blessings of embryo adoption for themselves.”
On July 1, 2022, the rules on how long you can store embryos changed. Initially, people could only store their embryos for up to 10 years, according to the Human Fertilization & Embryology Authority. The law now permits parents to store embryos for any period up to a maximum of 55 years.