Medical science has broken a new record: twins were born on October 31 in Oregon (United States) from embryos frozen 30 years agoin 1992. According to the country’s National Center for Embryo Donation, this would be the longest period of embryo freezing that has so far been feasible.
“I was five years old when my son was fertilized”
As reported by the medical news outlet medscape, the two twins have been baptized as Lydia and Timothy. The first of them was born weighing 2.57 kilos and the second 2.92 kilos. Her donor parents are an anonymous married couple who underwent in vitro fertilization treatment in 1992 resulting in leftover embryos (which are the ones that were subsequently donated). At the time, her husband was 50 and the original egg donor was 34.
The receiving parent, Philip Ridgeway, explained that “he was 5 years old” at the time of the in vitro fertilization of the embryos, so “in a certain sense, they are our oldest children, but also the youngest”. The couple, in addition to the newborns, have four other children aged eight, six, three and two years old.
It is common for donated embryos to be the result of an in vitro fertilization treatment in which there are excess embryos that the parents they don’t want to use.
Embryo donation in the United States
When embryos are not used, there are five options available: throw them away, use them again to have another child, donate them to science, donate them to other people or “decide not to decide” (in the United States, this case means that the donor couple ceases contact with the clinic).
In this particular case, the embryos remained stored until 2007, when they were donated to the National Center for Embryo Donations.
Ridgeway clarified that They weren’t looking to break any world records.; simply, like parents, they requested those that had been waiting in storage for the longest time.
Lisa O’Mary. Twins born from embryos frozen 30 years ago. Medscape (2022), Accessed online at https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/984413 on 11/24/2022.