BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Tennessee couple has welcomed a baby girl who grew from the longest-frozen embryo to ever result in a birth.

Benjamin and Tina Gibson’s daughter, Emma Wren, weighed 6 pounds, 8 ounces when she came into the world on November 25.

Prior to being transferred into Tina’s uterus at the National Embryo Donation Center in Knoxville earlier this year, the embryo Emma grew from had been cryo-preserved for more than 24 years, according to a news release.

And, according to research staff at the University of Tennessee Preston Medical Library, that makes her the all-time record holder for the longest-frozen embryo to result in birth.

The National Embryo Donation Center says it has helped produce more pregnancies through embryo adoption, nearly 700, than any other organization or clinic.

Interestingly, Emma’s embryo was frozen on Oct. 14, 1992, when Tina was just a year-and-a-half old.

“It is deeply moving and highly rewarding to see that embryos frozen 24.5 years ago using the old, early cryo-preservation techniques of slow freezing on day one of development at the pronuclear stage can result in 100 percent survival of the embryos with a 100 percent continued proper development to the day-3 embryo stage,” said NEDC Lab Director Carol Sommerfelt.

“Emma is such a sweet miracle,” Benjamin said of his daughter. “I think she looks pretty perfect to have been frozen all those years ago.”

“The NEDC has been privileged to work with the Gibsons to help them realize their dreams of becoming parents,” said NEDC Medical Director Dr. Jeffrey Keenan. “We hope this story is a clarion call to all couples who have embryos in long-term storage to consider this life-affirming option for their embryos.”

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Comments (79)
  1. A “baby” is not “born from” a “frozen embryo”.

    The frozen embryo IS the baby plus the baby’s placenta. We are talking about the same person.

    The embryo (zygote) was simply allowed to develop naturally after being frozen for over 24 years.

    1. Vox Veritas says:

      In other words, this ‘child’ is biologically almost 25 years old.

      1. Yes. This is not something to rejoice over. This is tampering with God’s territory. Thousands of babies are being aborted every day and thousands more embryonic babies are being created that will be killed or frozen. This is insanity and we will pay for it someday. “Those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.” That quote is from thousands of years ago and the principl still applies. Look what’s happening to our society.

  2. Ford Hanson says:

    And yet so many democrats think killing a baby up to 21 weeks is okay. Amazing and sad.

      1. Thomas Ford says:

        Which party has voted unendingly to support the practice that has tallied 60,000,000 abortions since Roe/Wade?



  3. How can it be an embryo from Tina if Tina was only 1.5 years old? Who was the father? Yes, an egg from a 1.5 y/o girl, but a full embryo?

    1. Don Perry says:

      Bruce, the story does not say it was an embryo taken from Tina; it says simply that when the embryo was created that Tina was a year-and-a- half old.

      1. greatgosh says:

        Proper grammar confounds folks in these parts of the internet.

  4. Twenty fours years, wow! I have two super wonderful grandchildren that were frozen embryos for 12 years.

  5. Pete Wagner says:

    Why did they choose an old embryo from two other people?

    1. Dan Komperda says:

      That’s what they signed up for. Obamacare Bronze Plan.

  6. Darren Davis says:

    I don’t know? I guess God will sort this out later.

  7. Jim Williams says:

    Does this mean the girl will be old enough to legally drink alcohol as soon as she is born?

  8. Tracy Watts says:

    Adoption can be a good option. Many, many parentless babies out there already born and hungry.

  9. An unfertilzed egg is not a baby anymore then a sperm is a baby.

      1. Of course, but I preferred to assume it was an unfertlied egg. If they are storing away living embryos in deep freeze this is very bad karma and the practice has to end. Only those who remember being in the womb would understand.

      2. Of course, but I preferred to assume it was an unfertlied egg. It’s a “sweet muracle,” it’s monstrous. Thinking life is mechanical. If they are storing away living embryos in deep freeze this is very bad karma and the practice has to end. Only those who remember being in the womb would understand.

      3. Mike Palmer says:

        Rebecca, do you remember being in the room?

  10. I wonder if the child’s health will be ok. After that many years maybe some DNA breakdown.

  11. She’s doing great except for a little freezer burn on the left side.

  12. Did they get a discount? Is it still covered under warranty? Can you still get parts?

  13. This embryo was likely fertilized in a Petri dish 24 years ago on “day one” of development. The next obvious question is, assume they froze an embryo on day 2. Does science believe that embryo will also survive? And what about “week 1”? Or even “week 20”. Has there been research that will answer these questions?

    But whatever the answer may be, does this not shed amazing light on the question of when life begins? The author of this article says that Emma “grew out of an embryo”. That, of course, is factually incorrect, as Emma was the embryo. Without question, the ethical issues in this area are unparalleled.

  14. Mida Jim says:


  15. “… the embryo Emma grew from had been cryo-preserved for more than 24 years…”

    Emma didn’t “grow from” and embryo. She WAS the embryo. SMH

  16. Paul Jenkins says:

    … the year 2017,
    ain’t gonna need no husband won’t need no wife,
    …you pick your sons, pick your daughters too,
    …from the bottom of a long glass tube, woah woah”

  17. This is monstrous to do to a kid. So ignorant and arrogant. As if life isn’t cosmic and divine.

  18. Lulua Mahalo says:

    Besides the ethics, what if this baby was from another?…show us the DNA

  19. Monica Mac says:

    This is disturbing on so many levels. Why take an egg from an 18 month old? Who fertilised the egg? I am sorry, but it really does sound to me like scientists were trying to play God. I hope this little girl grows up ok, she is clearly loved, but so many questions that I am sure will swirl around in her head when she finds out what was done 🙁

    I find this whole scenario really pretty scary….

  20. Lyn Patricia says:

    Aside from the usual ethical issues (many of these embryos are destroyed) you have to wonder the long term effects on her DNA and how that might effect her as she grows up

  21. I am enjoying the perspectives in this conversation. Thanks.

  22. I’ve been frozen for longer than 24 years.