Lydia and Timothy, the twins born from cryopreserved embryos for thirty years

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They are called Lydia Ann And Timothy Ronald Ridgeway. They are twins born from a record event: Tennessee babies are in fact born thanks to embryos frozen more than thirty years agoa duration considered the maximum threshold after which a successful birth has been achieved.

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The embryos were stored at -128 degrees Celsius in liquid nitrogen starting from April 22, 1992. The two children were born on October 31 to Rachel and Philip Ridgeway. The couple have four other children between one and 8 years old: the twins are the first born through in vitro fertilization or donors. In fact the embryos, which were five, were generated for one married couple through in vitro fertilization. Until 2007 they were kept in a fertility laboratory on the US West Coast, then the original, anonymous couple donated them to the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) of Knoxville, Tennessee – a religiously inspired private organization supported by such groups as the Christian Medical Association, Bethany Christian Services and Baptist Health Systems – with the very wish that they could be employed by another couple. Of the donor couple we only know that, at the time of the freezing, the husband was just over fifty years old and that the egg donor was 34.

So it would be the new record after the case of Molly Gibson, born in 2020 from an embryo frozen for almost 27 years. In her turn, Molly had taken away the primacy, if it can be defined as such, another case, that of her sister Emma, ​​also born from a frozen embryo, in her case for 24 years.

In the United Statesas explains the BBC«when people undergo IVF they can produce more embryos than they use. Extra embryos can be cryopreserved for future use, donated to research or education to advance the science of reproductive medicine, or donated to people who would like to have children. As with any human tissue donation, embryos must meet certain U.S. Food and Drug Administration eligibility guidelines to be donated, including screening for certain infectious diseases.

In Italy, since May 2009, following sentence 151 of the Constitutional Court intervening on law 40/2004, embryo cryopreservation is once again permitted to guarantee couples – as theIrccs Humanitas – “to obtain the best chance of success and reduce the risk related to multiple pregnancies”. At that time, the only opportunity for cryopreservation concerned male and female gametes, which has never been prohibited: here, for example, we told the story of Giovanna, 41, who after breast cancer is expecting two twins thanks to donor eggs and cryopreserved for 14 years. This is the first time in the world that the fertility of cryopreserved and vitrified oocytes for so long has been documented. In Italy, the donation of cryopreserved and unused embryos to research or to people who would like to become parents is currently prohibited.

More stories from Vanity Fair that may interest you

Pregnant, after a tumor, thanks to frozen eggs 14 years ago. In Bologna, the first case in the world

Egg freezing: how to do it, how much it costs and all the answers on the technique that allows you to preserve fertility


Source: Vanity Fair

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