The baby, born from a 27-year-old embryo, believed it had broken its record for its big sister


Her embryo was frozen in October 1992 and remained frozen until early February, when Tennessee Tina and Ben Gibson received their embryos. Tina gave birth to Molly in late October – almost 27 years after her embryo first froze.

Molly’s birth presumably set a new record – previously held by her older sister, Emma – for the longest-frozen embryo known to have been born. It’s not like the records count as Gibson’s.

“Emma and I were just beaten enough to have a baby,” Tina Gibson told CNN on Tuesday. “Molly and I are the same. It’s just really funny – here we go again with another world record.”

Gibson, along with both Emma and Molly, became pregnant with the help of the Knoxville-based nonprofit organization, the National Embryo Donation Center, which stores patients who fertilize frozen embryos in vitro. Families can receive unused embryos, which are then transferred to the uterus of the adoptive parent.
Emma, ​​the Gibson’s eldest daughter, was born in November 2017 and, according to the center, set an earlier record for the oldest frozen embryo that was known to have been born. It was frozen for 24 years.

Use of older embryos

Before Emma and then Molly set records, they knew little about the viability of older embryos. And when she learned that Emma’s embryo had frozen for so long, Gibson feared that age would reduce her chances of getting pregnant.

However, Dr. James Keenan, president and medical director of the center, assured that age is unlikely to affect outcome. According to him, the birth of both Emma and Molly proves that embryos should not be discarded because they are “old.”

“This definitely reflects the technology used for years and its ability to preserve embryos for later use indefinitely,” Carol Sommerfelt, the center’s laboratory director and embryologist, said in a statement.

About 75% of donated embryos survive the thawing and transfer process, and 25-30% of all implants are successful, Sommerfelt told CNN in 2017 when Emma was born.

There are still questions about age differences in the successful birth of the embryo, but the center says the birth of Gibson girls is both a positive example of the use of older embryos.

Molly’s birth was a bright spot at the time of the pandemic

The second embryo, adopted by the Gibson, was only thawed and only transferred to Gibson’s uterus until February. Gibson said he found out a few days before she was pregnant with Molly before Covid-19 was declared a pandemic.

“It definitely caused a little spark of joy by 2020,” he said.

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Born in late October, 6 pounds, 13 ounces of Molly illuminated the world of her family. And although he and his sister have medical miracles, Gibson says the thing is still most surprising to both of them.

“My husband and I talk about it every day,” she said. “We’re always like,‘ Can you believe we don’t have one little girl but two little girls? Can you believe we are the parents of several children? ”

Gibson told CNN in 2017, when Emma was born, that she and her husband were struggling with infertility. The couple’s heart was on traditional adoption, but after her parents suggested checking for embryo reception, their path changed unexpectedly.

“You might think I just got used to it during my pregnancy, but I’m still completely thrilled that they are ours,” she said.