Woman, 26, Gives Birth to Baby From Embryo Frozen 24 Years Ago

National Embryo Donation Center
National Embryo Donation Center

A 26-year-old Tennessee woman has given birth to the longest-known frozen embryo to be born.

Nearly as old as she is, the embryo implanted in Tina Gibson was frozen 24 years ago.

Baby Emma Wren Gibson, was born Nov. 25, as part of an “embryo adoption.”

"Do you realize I'm only 25? This embryo and I could have been best friends," Gibson told CNN at the time of the implantation. "I just wanted a baby. I don't care if it's a world record or not."

Emma’s embryo was originally frozen on Oct. 14, 1992, reports said.

The embryo donation center's lab director, Carol Sommerfelt, thawed the embryo. Dr. Jeffrey Keenan, an obstetrician-gynecologist affiliated with the University of Tennessee Medical Center, performed the implant, USA Today reported.

The embryo had been left in storage by an anonymous couple so they could be used by someone unable or unwilling to conceive a child naturally, CNN reported.

People who don’t want additional children but have extra embryos have the option to donate the embryos to research, let them thaw out and die, or keep them frozen indefinitely.

"We hope this story is a clarion call to all couples who have embryos in long-term storage to consider this life-affirming option for their embryos," said Dr. Keenan in a press release.

Gibson said she had always wanted to adopt as her husband has cystic fibrosis and they knew they may struggle with fertility, reports said.

The couple fostered several children before Gibson’s father proposed the idea of embryo adoption and the couple, after some research, decided to apply.

Gibson had three embryos implanted in her after going through more than 300 DNA profiles. Only one of the embryos took.

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

The couple isn’t sure if they will do embryo adoption again, but for now, they are happy to have a new baby girl.

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