The Ridgway family of Portland celebrated the first birthday of their youngest children, Lydia and Timothy. The twins were born on October 31, 2022, more than 30 years after the embryos from which they emerged were frozen. According to statistics, this is the case of the longest freezing of embryos that led to a live birth, according to Business Insider.
Embryos for an anonymous couple were taken from IVF on April 22, 1992 and have since been stored in liquid nitrogen at -196°C. Since more embryos were obtained during IVF than needed, the remaining ones were transferred to the US National Embryo Donation Center. This Christian non-profit organization only offers frozen embryo transfer to heterosexual couples who have been married for at least three years. Nearly 30 years later, Rachel and Philip Ridgway, who already had four children but wanted more, took the opportunity. Judging by the "embryonic" age, the father of the twins is five years older than his children, and the mother is only three.
The previous holder of the title of "oldest" child was American Molly Everett Gibson, who was born on October 26, 2020 from an embryo frozen for 24 years. As for the Ridgeways, they did not strive for fame at all, they simply chose those who "waited the longest".
It is believed that embryos can be frozen for a practically unlimited time, although their survival rate after thawing is about 80%, and only a fraction of the transferred embryos lead to a live birth. In the case of the Ridgeways, five embryos were thawed, three were viable enough for transfer, and two children were born as a result.
Despite the fact that the embryos have been in a deep freeze for so long, the children that emerge from them should be as healthy as those that were born naturally. This is more influenced by the age of the donor and recipient of the embryos. By the way, the Ridgways were told that the biological father of the twins died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells of the brain and spinal cord, which Stephen Hawking suffered from. “There is a possibility that this genetic disease may be in them. It may not be. We don't care", - the Ridgeways say.