Yes, you read it right! A baby has been born from an embryo frozen for nearly 25 years. It is the longest known frozen human embryo to result in a successful birth.
And the miracle baby is Emma Wren Gibson. She was born on November 25 in Tennessee. She is a healthy girl weighing 6 pounds 8 ounces.
When the doctor told Emma’s parents, Tina and Benjamin Gibson, that the embryo used was originally frozen on October 14, 1992, they were surprised.
Tina told CNN, “Do you realize I’m only 25? This embryo and I could have been best friends.”
Story Of Embryo Adoption
The embryo was created for in vitro fertilization by another, anonymous couple and it was left in storage so that they could be used by someone unable or unwilling to conceive a child naturally.
Gibsons came to know about embryo adoption from Tina’s father. As they were planning to take a week-long vacation, Benjamin and Tina went to her parent’s house to drop their dog. That’s when Tina’s father told her about the embryo adoption, which was completely new to her.
“I saw something on the news today. It’s called embryo adoption, and they would implant an embryo in you, and you could carry a baby.”
But, Tina did not show any interest in the news.
Benjamin has cystic fibrosis and infertility issues. According to Tina, they had found peace with it. They are happy about adopting kids. Their love for kids is evident in the fact that they fostered several kids before adopting the embryo.
However, her dad’s word kept coming back to her during the eight-hour car trip. When she asked Benjamin about embryo adoption, he was also happy to know more about it. During the vacation, they tried to understand as much as possible about the adoption. Thus, she came to know that National Embryo Donation Center was based in Knoxville, Tennessee, and could facilitate a frozen embryo transfer.
However, she waited until August to make a final decision. And then they submitted an application for embryo adoption.
By December, she underwent a series of medical examinations to see whether her uterus would be physically capable of receiving an implanted embryo.
Once she cleared medical examination, it was time for a home study. According to Mark Mellinger, marketing and development director for the National Embryo Donation Center, it is just the standard home study that mimics any home study that anybody would go through in a traditional adoption process. By March, Gibsons were ready for the process.
They chose an embryo after reviewing 300 profiles. It was not an easy job. They filtered out profiles based on weight and height similar to them. Then, they gave preference to medical history. And finally, they picked a profile. Since their first choice was not viable, they had to go with their second choice.
As they were waiting for the implantation procedure, Dr.Carol Sommerfelt, embryology lab director at the National Embryo Donation Center informed them about the world record.
Whether it is a medical record or not doesn’t bother Gibsons now.
As Tina told CNN, “I just wanted a baby. I don’t care if it’s a world record or not. We’re just so thankful and blessed. She’s a precious Christmas gift from the Lord. We’re just so grateful.”
The fertilized embryo was provided by the National Embryo Donation Center, which is a faith-based organization founded in 2003. They are the big advocates of embryo donation and embryo adoption. If there is anyone looking for donating an embryo, the center will handle the details for free.
Even though they are not biologically related to their new daughter, it doesn’t make any difference to Gibsons. Benjamin said that Emma feels completely like his own child. “As soon as she came out, I fell in love with her.”