Science is a marvellous thing, isn’t it? And it’s crazy to think about how we’re just getting started on using science to change lives, especially when it comes to the fertility field.
It’s been several decades since Louise Brown, the very first baby born through in vitro fertilization, was born in the late ’70s. And now a Tennessee couple has set another record: one for delivering the oldest embryo. But setting a record was far from their minds when they first set out on this journey.
Tina and Benjamin Gibson always knew they would have a hard time conceiving on their own since Benjamin has cystic fibrosis. But they were content with fostering kids until they felt ready to adopt. That is until Tina’s father told them about ‘snowbabies,’ embryos that are basically sitting there and ready to be adopted by couples unable to conceive.
Although the pair was a little hesitant at first, they began warming up to the idea, and eventually went through with the process by adopting 24-year-old embryo siblings. One of the three embryos they thawed took during the implantation process. Now, Tina, who just turned 26, technically has a 24-year-old baby girl named Emma Wren Gibson.
“This embryo and I could have been best friends,” Tina told CNN. “I just wanted a baby. I don’t care if it’s a world record or not.”
It’s definitely surreal to think that these gals could have grown up together.
To be fair, there’s no accurate way of telling whether or not this broke an actual world record since private companies handle these kinds of adoptions all the time and they aren’t obligated to disclose how old snowbabies are. However, until now, the oldest successful transfer on record was 20 years old.
For those of you who don’t know, the embryo adoption process isn’t an easy one. First, medical professionals need to make sure the woman’s womb can sustain the transfer, and then a home visit is performed to make sure that living conditions for the baby in question are suitable. Of course, there are also thousands of dollars in fees that the couple needs to pay as well. But the process is often a small price to pay for a healthy baby.
“Emma is such a sweet miracle,” stated Benjamin Gibson. “I think she looks pretty perfect to have been frozen all those years ago.” And it’s hard not to agree.