26-year-old woman gives birth to daughter who spent 24 years as frozen embryo

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WSVN) — A 26-year-old woman is calling her daughter’s birth a miracle after the infant spent 24 years frozen as an embryo.

Tina Gibson welcomed her daughter Emma Wren into the world Nov. 25. But Emma’s birth is an unusual one. According to WBIR, Gibson and her husband Benjamin adopted Emma’s embryo, after it had been frozen in 1992.

Emma was then transferred to Tina’s uterus at the National Embryo Donation Center in Knoxville in early 2017.

The NEDC says in vitro fertilization (IVF) often creates a surplus of frozen embryos, since more are created than needed for a successful pregnancy. Parents who have gone through IVF can choose to have their unused embryos destroyed, or they can donate them to organizations like NEDC, who then adopt the embryos to couples who cannot conceive children on their own.

“I will always remember what the Gibsons said when presented with the picture of their embryos at the time of transfer: ‘These embryos could have been my best friends,’ as Tina herself was only 25 at the time of transfer,” recalled NEDC Lab Director Carol Sommerfelt.

According to research staff at the University of Tennessee Preston Medical Library, Emma now holds the all-time record for the longest-frozen embryo to come to birth.

“Emma is such a sweet miracle,” Benjamin told WBIR. “I think she looks pretty perfect to have been frozen all those years ago.”

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