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US couple welcomes twins born from frozen embryos 30 years ago and breaks record

The twins were born on October 31 to Rachel Ridgeway and Philip Ridgeway

Breaking a previous record, an Oregon couple welcomed twins from frozen embryos in April 1992, 30 years ago. CNN reported. The previously known record holder was Molly Gibson, born in 2020 from an embryo that had been frozen for nearly 27 years. The Oregon twins, dubbed “the oldest babies in the world”, were born on October 31 to Rachel Ridgeway and Philip Ridgeway.

The National Embryo Donation Center says the twins, named Lydia and Timothy Ridgeway, are the longest frozen embryos to result in a live birth. While baby girl Lydia was born at 5 pounds and 11 ounces (2.5 kg), baby boy Timothy was born at 6 pounds and 7 ounces (2.92 kg).

The babies were the result of donated embryos, usually from parents who have extra embryos after successfully having babies through in vitro fertilization (IVF). Thirty years ago, an anonymous donor couple, who had used in vitro fertilization, donated the embryos, which were cryopreserved at 200 degrees below zero. The embryos were frozen on April 22, 1992, and remained in cold storage at a West Coast fertility lab until 2007, when the couple donated them to the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC). Fifteen years later, the frozen embryos led to the birth of Lydia and Timothy.

The Ridgeways, who already have four other children, ages 8, 6, 3 and almost 2, decided to have more children using donated embryos. When looking for donors, the couple specifically looked in a category called “special consideration”, meaning embryos for which it had been difficult to find recipients.

Mr. Ridgeway said CNN“We weren’t looking to get the longest frozen embryos in the world. We just wanted the ones that had been waiting the longest. There’s something mind-blowing about that. In a way, they’re our oldest children, even if they are our youngest.”

“I was 5 years old when God gave life to Lydia and Timothy, and he has preserved that life ever since,” added the happy father.

Harvard Medical School fertility expert Ellen S. Glazer said there are countless IVF-created embryos whose future path has five options. The options are:
1. The embryo can be discarded
2. The couple can decide to have an additional child
3. Embryos can be donated to Science
4. Embryos can be donated to another person or to a couple
5. Decide not to decide

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