A girl is born in Tennessee from an embryo that was frozen for 27 years, breaking world records.
While Molly Everette Gibson is just a few months old, she could be 28 today. Before she was born, her genetic parents froze her for more than 27 years.
The parents donated her—as an embryo—to the National Embryo Donation Center so she could be born to another set of parents.
Molly was a healthy infant at the time of birth, weighing 6 pounds, 13 ounces, and measuring 19 inches long. Based on her embryonic age, she's 28 since her embryo was frozen in 1992.
Molly's birth broke the record for the longest frozen embryo to result in a successful birth.
Molly was born into the family of Tina and Ben Gibson.
Even though Tina birthed Molly, both she and Ben aren't the biological parents since neither the egg nor sperm came from them.
The two were unable to have kids the traditional way, so they decided to give the IVF procedure a try.
The couple had fostered multiple children and even considered adoption before they finally sought out In Vitro fertilization (IVF).
Even more remarkable, Molly is actually the Gibson's second child born through adoptive IVF. Her older sibling, Emma, 3, was also born from a frozen embryo in 2017.
What's more, Molly and Emma both came from the same embryo donors, making them biological siblings.
Tina said this about their kids:
"With Emma, we were just so smitten to have a baby."
"With Molly, we're the same way. It's just kind of funny — here we go again with another world record."
Before Molly was born, Emma, who came from the same batch of frozen embryos from 1992, was the record-holder for the oldest-known embryo to result in a successful birth. She was frozen for 24 years.
Of course, when Tina first found out the actual age of the embryos, she was skeptical of their viability.
To put things into perspective, Tina was born in 1990. That's just two years before the embryos she would later birth into children were frozen.
Her two successful births with Emma and Molly are clear indicators that we shouldn't discard frozen embryos simply due to their age.
Carol Sommerfelt, an embryologist, said:
"This definitely reflects on the technology used all those years ago and its ability to preserve the embryos for future use under an indefinite time frame."
Births from frozen embryos, however, are still quite complex and sometimes don't guarantee success.
Before doctors implant frozen embryos inside the intended uterus, they first thaw them. And only about 75 percent of embryos survive the thawing and transfer process. Also, the embryos may not implant successfully.
But despite these uncertainties, a successful procedure can change lives.
Expressing her thrill, Tina said:
"Every single day, my husband and I talk about it."
"We're always like, 'can you believe we have not one little girl, but two little girls? Can you believe we're parents to multiple children?'"
According to the NEDC, the shelf-life for frozen embryos is infinite. The time-frame, however, depends on the age of the technology.
The first baby born from an embryo frozen after IVF was born in Australia in 1984.