A set of twins have been born in the United States from embryos frozen for more than 30 years.

The birth of the twin babies has set a new record for the longest-frozen embryos ever to result in a successful live birth – given that the embryos were stored in liquid nitrogen at around -128C (-200F) on April 22, 1992.

Rachel Ridgeway from Oregon – who has had four biological children prior – gave birth to the twins in Tennessee on Oct. 31 

“It is mind-boggling,” Philip Ridgeway – the father – said.

Dr John David Gordon, who performed the embryo transfer, said: “The decision… to adopt these embryos should reassure patients who wonder if anyone would be willing to adopt the embryos that they created 5, 10, 20 years ago. That answer is a resounding yes!”

The twin embryos were created for an anonymous married couple using IVF. The man was in his 50s and reportedly relied on a 34-year-old egg donor.

They were stored at a fertility lab on the US Pacific West until 2007 when the couple donated them to the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC), Knoxville, Tennessee, for another couple to use them instead.

Embryologists at the NEDC’s partner clinic Southeastern Fertility then performed the thaw and transfer to the uterus earlier this year.

The NEDC – a private faith-based organisation that says it has helped birth more than 1,200 infants from donated embryos – in a statement, said it hoped the news would “encourage others to experience the blessings of embryo adoption for themselves.”

Lydia Ann and Timothy Ronald Ridgeway are the first children the Ridgeways have had through donors or IVF.

“I was five years old when God gave life to Lydia and Timothy and he’s been preserving that life ever since,” Philip Ridgeway told CNN.

“In a sense, they’re our oldest children, even though they’re our smallest children.”

“There is something mind-boggling about it,” he added.


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