The twins, Lydia and Timothy Ridgemont, broke the previous record of Molly Gibson, born in 2020 from an embryo that had been frozen for nearly 27 years.
On October 31, Lydia and Timothy Ridgeway were born from what may be the longest-frozen embryos since 1992, according to the US-based National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC),
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NEDC shared the news congratulating the couple for the twins dubbed the “world's oldest babies”.
“Congratulations, Philip, Rachel, & family on the additions of new NEDC record-breakers Timothy & Lydia! And thanks to our friends at The Gospel Coalition for an in-depth, comprehensive look at this news and where it fits in the larger embryo adoption narrative,” NEDC wrote on Twitter.
The Oregon couple, Rachel and Philip Ridgeway, welcomed their twin babies from the embryos that were frozen 30 years ago in April 1992. The twins broke the previous record of Molly Gibson, born in 2020 from an embryo that had been frozen for nearly 27 years.
“This is a new record for the transfer of the longest-frozen embryo resulting in a birth,” US-based media The Gospel Coalition quoted Mark Mellinger, marketing and development director at NEDC, as saying.
The embryos were created using in-vitro fertilisation for an anonymous married couple, the husband in his early 50s, and the 34-year-old egg donor.
On April, 1992, the embryos were frozen and for nearly three decades, they were kept in storage on tiny straws kept in liquid nitrogen at nearly 200 degrees below zero, in a propane tank-like device.
“The embryos were kept at a fertility lab on the West Coast until 2007, when the couple who created them donated the embryos to the National Embryo Donation Center in Knoxville, Tennessee, in hopes another couple might be able to use them. The five embryos were overnighted in specially outfitted tanks to Knoxville,” said Dr John Gordon, the doctor of Oregon couple.
“We’ve never had in our minds a set number of children we’d like to have,” Philip said. “We’ve always thought we’ll have as many as God wants to give us, and … when we heard about embryo adoption, we thought that’s something we would like to do,” he added.
The Ridgeways were looking through embryo donor databases when they came across the embryos frozen in 1992.
They specifically looked in a category called “special consideration,” which means embryos for whom it had been difficult to find recipients. They assumed that the embryos listed with earlier donor numbers must have been kept the longest.
“We weren’t looking to get the embryos that have been frozen the longest in the world,” Philip Ridgeway said. “We just wanted the ones that had been waiting the longest.”
“Going into this, we knew that we could trust God to do whatever he had sovereignly planned and that their age really had no factor. It was just a matter of whether or not that was in God’s plans,” CNN quoted Rachel Ridgeway as saying.
The Ridgway couple, who are parents to four other children, aged 8, 6, 3 and almost 2, said that technically the twins are their oldest children.
“There is something mind-boggling about it,” Philip Ridgeway said. “I was 5 years old when God gave life to Lydia and Timothy, and he’s been preserving that life ever since. In a sense, they’re our oldest children, even though they’re our smallest children,” CNN quoted Ridgeway as saying.
According to NEDC, the twin baby Lydia was born at 5 pounds, 11 ounces, and Timothy was 6 pounds, 7 ounces.
“They were good-size babies,” Rachel Ridgeway said. “It really is God’s grace because he has just sustained us each step of the way.”