As if 2020 wasn’t crazy enough – a baby was born from an embryo frozen back in 1992.
Molly Everette Gibson was born on October 26, 2020 and is reportedly the longest-frozen embryo to result in a live-birth. The embryo was frozen in October 1992, just over a year after her mother Tina Gibson was born in April 1991.
After struggling to conceive naturally, Tina (29) and husband Benjamin (36) turned to the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) for help. The Tennessee-based non-profit connects families with unused embryos from in vitro fertilisation patients who decided not to use them. The families can “adopt” the embryos, which are then transferred into a woman’s uterus.
Interestingly enough, Molly’s birth broke the record previously held by her sister Emma Wren, who was born from an embryo which was frozen for 24 years before her birth in November 2017. Molly and Emma are full genetic siblings as the embryos were frozen at the same time and donated by the same people. They were donated anonymously, and their biological parents remain unknown.
Frozen embryos do not have a specific known shelf life, but appear to last for decades under the right conditions.
“As long as the embryos are maintained correctly in the liquid nitrogen storage tank at minus 396 degrees, we feel they may be good indefinitely,” NEDC lab director Carol Sommerfelt told the New York post. “With the birth of Molly, we know they can survive at least 27 and a half years and probably longer.”
“This definitely reflects on the technology used all those years ago and its ability to preserve the embryos for future use under an indefinite time frame,”