This is the incredible story of a baby girl who was conceived on October 14, 1992, but born on November 25, 2017.
Emma Wren Gibson, born weighing 6 pounds 8 ounces, grew from an embryo that lay frozen for over 24 years, CNN reports. Before her birth last month, the oldest known frozen embryo that came to successful birth was 20 years old, according to a 2011 study.
After being cryogenically preserved, the donated embryo was thawed in March 2017 and transferred to the uterus of 25-year-old Tina Gibson from Tennessee. Emma and her parents are not genetically related since the embryo was conceived by a different couple and donated. Oddly enough, this means that Tina was conceived just a year and a half after the daughter she just gave birth to.
"Do you realize I'm only 25? This embryo and I could have been best friends," Tina, now 26, told CNN. "I just wanted a baby. I don't care if it's a world record or not," she added.
Benjamin, Emma’s father, told local TV station WBIR-TV: "I think she looks pretty perfect to have been frozen all those years ago."
After people go through in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment, there are occasionally leftover embryos. Parents can decide whether to freeze these embryos so they can be used by someone unable to conceive a child naturally. Modern scientific advancements mean that safely thawing these embryos has never been easier or safer. These embryos are often known as “snow babies” or “snowflake babies” since they are preserved over the years in a deep-freeze suspension. There are around 700,000 to 1 million human embryos currently being held in storage in the US.
The National Embryo Donation Center, a Christian-influenced embryo adoption group, helped the Gibsons with their decision to use a frozen fertilized embryo. For a fee of around $7,500, they provide couples with a frozen embryo and the medical procedure, as well as emotional and legal support, provided they are “a man and a woman married for a minimum of 3 years”.
"People say, 'oh it's science', but no I think it's a gift from the Lord. It's a gift from the Lord, for sure," Tina added.