A 26-year-old woman from Tennessee has given birth to a baby girl that grew from an embryo that had been frozen 24 years earlier. Baby Emma Wren Gibson came from an embryo that was frozen on 14 October 1992 and according to PEOPLE, she is the longest-frozen embryo to ever successfully reach birth. The embryo was transferred into her mother Tina’s uterus by the National Embryo Donation Center.
“If the baby was born when it was supposed to born, we could have been best friends,” the mother told NBC News.
“Do you realize I’m only 25? This embryo and I could have been best friends,” Tina, who is now 26 years old told CNN. “I just wanted a baby. I don’t care if it’s a world record or not.”
Carol Sommerfelt, embryology lab director at the National Embryo Donation Center was amazed by the birth saying it was all “pretty exciting considering how long the embryos had been frozen.”
While this is something quite extraordinary, the parents didn’t care as long as the child was healthy. “We’re just so thankful and blessed. She’s a precious Christmas gift from the Lord,” Tina said. “We’re just so grateful.”
Emma was an embryo that was donated by another couple back in 1992. These embryos that are kept in storage are sometimes referred to as ‘snow babies’.
“My husband has cystic fibrosis, so infertility is common,” Tina explained. “We had decided that we were more than likely going to adopt, and we were fine with that.”
Tina and Benjamin initially wanted to adopt. However, Tina’s father suggested embryo adoption. “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,” he told his daughter.
“I was like, ‘Well, that’s nice, Dad, but we’re not interested. We’re knee-deep in foster care right now,’ ” Tina recalled. “I kind of blew it off. I had no interest in it.”
In the end, the couple submitted an application.”During August of last year, I just came home one day; I looked at Benjamin, and I said, ‘I think we need to submit an application for embryo adoption,'” she explained. “On a whim, we filled out an application and submitted that night.”
Eventually, the Tennessee couple welcomed little Emma Wren on November 25.
The new parents are still open to adoption: “We wanted to adopt, and I don’t know that that isn’t going to be in our future. We may still adopt,” Tina said. “This just ended up being the route that we took. I think that we would have been equally elated if were able to adopt. ”