Woman Gives Birth To Baby Who Was Frozen 24 Years As An Embryo

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A groundbreaking event in the health field emerged when a woman in Tennessee gave birth to a baby who was frozen as an embryo for 24 years. Not only is this the longest known frozen embryo to make it to birth, but the baby was conceived just 18 months after her mother was born. The embryo was donated to help women who can not conceive.

Fox News reports that Tina Gibson is 26-years-old and was the one who carried baby Emma Wren. When Emma was an embryo, she was cryopreserved in 1992 until she was placed in Tina’s uterus via “frozen embryo transfer” in March after being thawed for two days. Emma was born on November 25, according to The National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC). She’s dubbed “Snowbaby.”

Tina’s husband, Benjamin Gibson, is ecstatic about their new baby and is amazed at how perfect Emma is after being frozen as an embryo for 24 years.

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

NEDC Director Dr. Jeffrey Kennan hopes this story encourages others to donate their embryos to those who want a family but are unable to conceive a baby. NEDC receives donated embryos from all over the nation to be frozen, and up to 700 pregnancies have been possible due, in large part, to the center’s adoption program.

NEDC Lab Director Carol Sommerfelt is thrilled to see how even the systematic process of freezing embryos for nearly 25 years ago has resulted in the successful birth of a baby. It proves that “early cryopreservation techniques of slow freezing on day one of development at the pronuclear stage can result in 100 percent survival of the embryos with a 100 percent continued proper development to the Day-3 embryo stage,” Sommefelt said.

Emma Wren weighed six pound, eight ounces and was 20-inches-long at birth.

The NEDC’s website explains that a surplus of embryos via in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and assisted reproduction technologies (ART) has been the answer for many who want to be parents, but 40 years of the techniques have resulted in a surplus of 700,000 to one million extra frozen embryos from those individuals who’ve “completed” their families. They must then decide what to do with the remaining embryos, and the option to donate them to infertile couples is becoming more popular. It’s a win-win for the biological family and the adoption family. The site also states that the option may not be right for everyone. It has a full range of questions and answers, blog posts, and those sharing their experiences with the frozen embryo procedures.

It’s possible the widely covered news about the Tennessee woman giving birth to a baby girl who was frozen 24 years as an embryo will inspire more genetic parents to donate their embryos. The subject has its emotional and financial tolls as well, but those issues are addressed on NEDC’s site.