Woman gives birth to daughter from embryo frozen 24 years ago

KTRK logo
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
EMBED <>More Videos

Baby born from 24-year-old frozen embryo

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- A Tennessee woman has just given birth to a baby who was conceived 24 years ago.

Tina and Benjamin Gibson decided to try a frozen embryo transfer after struggling with infertility for years.

"I never thought I would be able to have pregnancy, and to have a baby, such a miracle, such a sweet sweet miracle," Tina said.

At one time the couple had considered traditional adoption but decided to try frozen embryo transfer at a center in Tennessee.

With the hopes of becoming parents, they went through the process at the National Embryo Donation Center in Knoxville, not knowing the embryo they had chosen was frozen for more than two decades.

They used a donated embryo frozen in 1992. That means little Emma Wren was conceived in 1992 -- and born in 2017.

This means Tina, who is 26 years old, was carrying an embryo conceived just one and a half years after her own birth.

"If this embryo had been born when it was supposed to, we could have been best friends -- we could have been best friends, that's been the going joke, I mean it's just so crazy," she said.

The embryo was preserved all those years at the National Embryo Donation Center. Carol Sommerfelt, the lab director, says seeing this record-setting embryo result in a successful birth has proven technology and advancements over the years have worked.

"I say I see miracles happen every day," Sommerfelt said.

The center transfers, on average, 120 to 150 embryos a year - but this one was the oldest. Embryos lingering in icy suspension are often called "snowbabies."

The Gibsons say they don't think for one second it was all a coincidence.

"Just a pure blessing from the Lord, you know, straight from God," Tina said. "I think it's just proof. It's such a God thing, such a miracle I think she was chosen for us. I don't think we chose her, I think she was chosen for us."

Benjamin added, "Yes it's nothing we did at all."

Emma is now the longest-known frozen human embryo to result in a successful birth.