A 26-year-old woman in the United States has given birth to a baby girl from an embryo frozen just 1.5 years after her own birth.
The baby, named Emma Wren, was born to Benjamin and Tina Gibson on Nov. 25, weighing 2.95 kilograms and measuring 50 centimeters long, the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) in Tennessee said in a statement this week.
"Emma is such a sweet miracle," new dad Benjamin said. "I think she looks pretty perfect to have been frozen all those years ago."
Benjamin, 33, reportedly has cystic fibrosis, a condition that can make men infertile. He and his wife, Tina, had previously fostered several children.
Emma was frozen on Oct. 14, 1992, when Tina was about 18 months old, and thawed by doctors at the NEDC on March 13 this year.
Tina, now 26, told CNN that she was surprised to learn the exact age of the embryo that was transferred into her uterus two days later.
"Do you realize I'm only 25? This embryo and I could have been best friends," she recalled of the time when she was presented with the picture of the embryo.
Citing research staff at the University of Tennessee Preston Medical Library, the NEDC said Emma now holds the all-time record for the longest-frozen embryo to come to birth.
"The NEDC has been privileged to work with the Gibsons to help them realize their dreams of becoming parents," said NEDC Medical Director Jeffrey Keenan, who performed the procedure.
"We hope this story is a clarion call to all couples who have embryos in long-term storage to consider this life-affirming option for their embryos."
The hospital said on its website that a child was born previously in England from embryos stored for 21 years.
"As long as embryos are stored correctly in liquid nitrogen, they may be viable indefinitely," it explained.
"And we at the NEDC have had numerous births after storage periods between 15 and 20 years."
But some experts said it's unclear if Emma's birth is definitely a record.
Zaher Merhi, director of IVF research and development at New Hope Fertility Center in New York, told CNN that U.S. companies are not required to report the age of the embryos, only the outcome of the pregnancies, so "nobody has these records."
Tina, however, explained to CNN that she just wanted a baby.
"I don't care if it's a world record or not," she said.
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