Adopted Embryo Born after Being Frozen for 24 Years

If little Emma had been initially implanted and not frozen, she and her mom would be about the same age.

Ashley Foster January 03, 2018
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As time goes on we are seeing more things that used to only occur in science fiction novels come to light as miracles for families. For the first time ever, an embryo that was frozen for 24 years was born.

Parents Tina and Benjamin Gibson had no idea their pregnancy would end up being newsworthy, but it definitely was. Their new daughter, Emma Wren Gibson is a happy, healthy baby born just after Thanksgiving this year. One would never guess she was once suspended in time for over two decades via cryopreservation.

The couple sought assistance after struggling to conceive. Once they learned Benjamin was likely infertile, they decided to adopt an embryo. Often couples who go through in vitro fertilization will anonymously donate their unused embryos. The Gibsons adopted one of those donated embryos, and the rest is record-breaking history. Tina is 25, almost the exact age of the embryo that she carried. If little Emma had been implanted and not frozen, they would be about the same age.

Cryopreservation has changed plenty in the last couple of decades. That technology will keep changing and improving. The first baby was born through in vitro fertilization in 1978. The embryo had to be implanted right away. It took six years for doctors to become successful at freezing and unfreezing embryos. The first birth from a frozen embryo was in 1984. The embryo had been frozen for about 2 months.

Anonymous donations are one way of adopting an embryo, but there are other options as well. You can undertake the process with a friend or relative who wants to help you start a family, or you can go through a private adoption via an adoption agency. The mother must undergo hormone treatments to prepare her body for the implantation of the embryo.

Learn more about the process in this guide to embryo adoption.

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Ashley Foster

Ashley Foster is a freelance writer. She is a wife and mother of two currently residing in Florida. She loves taking trips to the beach with her husband and sons. As an infant, she was placed with a couple in a closed adoption. Ashley was raised with two sisters who were also adopted. In 2016, she was reunited with her biological family. She advocates for adoptees' rights and DNA testing for those who are searching for family. Above all, she is thankful that she was given life. You can read her blog at

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