‘mind-boggling’ | 

Twins born from embryos frozen over 30 years ago declared ‘world's oldest babies'

Lydia and Timothy Ridgeway were born on October 31 in what their proud new parents have called a ‘mind-boggling’ experience

Lydia and Timothy Ridgeway

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

Oregon twins, dubbed the "world's oldest babies'', have been born in the US from embryos that were frozen more than 30 years ago.

Lydia and Timothy Ridgeway were born on October 31 to Rachel and Philip Ridgeway in what the proud new parents have called a "mind-boggling" experience.

The National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) believes the embryos are the longest-frozen to have resulted in a live birth.

The embryos that were initially created for an anonymous married couple were kept at a fertility laboratory before being donated to the national centre in 2007.

Philip Ridgeway, the father of the twins, was aged just five when the embryos were created.

"There is something mind-boggling about it,” he said.

"I was five years old when God gave life to Lydia and Timothy, and he's been preserving that life ever since.

"In a sense, they're our oldest children, even though they're our smallest children."

Philip and Rachel Ridgeway have four other children aged between two and eight.

In 1992, the biological mother was a 34-year-old egg donor while the father was aged in his 50s.

The anonymous donor couple, who had used in vitro fertilisation, donated the embryos, which were cryopreserved at 200 degrees below zero.

The embryos were frozen on April 22, 1992, and remained in cold storage at a West Coast fertility lab until 2007, when the couple donated them to the NEDC. Fifteen years later, the frozen embryos led to the birth of Lydia and Timothy.

While baby girl Lydia was born at 5 pounds, 11 ounces, (2.5kg) baby boy Timothy was born at 6 pounds, 7 ounces (2.92kg).

Mark Mellinger, of the NEDC, said: "This is a new record for the transfer of the longest-frozen embryo resulting in a birth."

The previously known record holder was Molly Gibson, born in 2020 from an embryo that had been frozen for nearly 27 years

Molly beat the record for her sister Emma who came from an embryo frozen for 24 years.

When they were looking for donors, the Ridgeways specifically looked in a category called "special consideration," which means embryos for whom it had been difficult to find recipients.

Mr Ridgeway told CNN: "We weren't looking to get the embryos that have been frozen the longest in the world. We just wanted the ones that had been waiting for the longest.”


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