A baby was born late last month that was frozen as an embryo in the early 1990s, to a mother who was born just a year-and-a-half before her own child was conceived.
Emma Wren Gibson was born on Nov. 25 to Tina and Benjamin Gibson in Tennessee. She is a healthy, fully-formed baby, who was frozen as an embryo on Oct. 14, 1992. The length of time between being frozen as an embryo and being born is a world record for such a feat.
Mother Tina, who was born just 18 months prior to her baby being conceived, took note of “what could have been” had her daughter not been frozen as an embryo and donated to the National Embryo Donation Center.
“Do you realize I'm only 25? This embryo and I could have been best friends,” she said.
Frozen for 24 years ...— Claire Lee (@eclaireoh) December 20, 2017
This baby girl’s genetic parents donated the eggs, which were left over from an in vitro fertilisation process, and had them cryogenically frozen on 14 October 1992.
Amazing what technology can do https://t.co/REqFCxF33J
The Gibsons had fostered several children before deciding to “adopt” an embryo from the NEDC. Because Benjamin has cystic fibrosis, the couple cannot conceive a child on their own and were considering adoption before Tina’s father suggested embryonic adoption.
Couples who utilize embryonic adoption are allowed to pick their future child based on profiles provided to them by the NEDC. The Gibsons, who describe themselves as short, wanted a profile of someone who would match their physical description as well. After they had found their match, the doctor alerted them to the age of the embryo itself.
But according to Tina, the record never played a part in their decision making.
“I just wanted a baby. I don't care if it's a world record or not,” she explained.
Couples who face difficulties in conceiving have a world of options at their disposal, including embryonic adoption. The world record is an interesting part of their family's story, but it's just the beginning — the rest of the story will matter much more to the Gibsons, who are obviously more thrilled to have welcomed their daughter into this world than anything else.
Banner / Thumbnail : Kacper Pempel/Reuters