The family welcomes twins born from embryos frozen 30 years ago
Embryos that had been stored in cryostorage since 1992 were adopted by Philip and Rachel Ridgeway. In October 2022, Lydia and Timothy, the twins, were born.
Embryos that had been frozen since 1992 were adopted earlier this year by a couple from Vancouver, Washington. The twins were born last month, and the Ridgeways were thrilled to have them.
The embryos, which had been placed in liquid nitrogen and frozen 30 years earlier, were successfully defrosted, transferred, and then delivered, shattering the previous record for the longest-ever frozen embryos to give birth to a live child.
Lydia and Timothy Ridgeway are just one month old. Philip and Rachel, the parents, are overjoyed to have expanded their family through embryo adoption.
“We are Evangelical Christians, and we believe that but the Bible teaches that life begins at conception, and we thought, ‘What better way to put our money where our mouth is?’ ” said Philip Ridgeway.
Choosing the profile that had been waiting for the longest was the choice of the couple.
“We looked for the smallest number and found our donor profile and said, ‘OK, it looks like there’s no one else that’s waited longer,”
So we’re going to take these kiddos because they had waited 15 years after being created, and then 15 years at the National Embryo Donation Center,’ ” Rachel Ridgeway said.
The twins’ birth was made possible thanks in part to the Knoxville, Tennessee-based National Embryo Donation Center, whose embryos were anonymously donated.
The couple’s physician was Dr. John David Gordon, medical director at Southeastern Fertility.
“These embryos that they adopted were frozen in 1992. “They’re essentially 30 years old, so those embryos were for an IVF cycle that resulted in success, presumably back in the ’90s,” Gordon said.
“The couple was willing to relinquish those extra embryos.” They sat there in liquid nitrogen, just waiting for somebody to choose them.”
The Ridgeways returned to Tennessee for the embryo transfer in March, following an initial consultation to determine whether they would be a good match.
“I was a little bit nervous, you know, for anybody with a twin pregnancy, but they sailed through it and did so well,” Gordon said.
The family expanded from six to eight with the addition of four more children.
“The Lord chose Lydia and Timothy to be the ones that he would implant and continue to sustain throughout my pregnancy, and now we hold them in our arms,” Rachel Ridgeway said.
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