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Record-Breaking Twins Are Born From Embryos Frozen 30 Years Ago

Lydia and Timothy Ridgeway are believed to have set a new record for the longest-frozen embryos to ever result in a live birth.
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profile picture of Wyndi Kappes
Assistant Editor
Updated
November 28, 2022
twin baby feet in black and white
Image: JGA | Shutterstock

They say great things come to those who wait—and the Ridgeways certainly waited a long time.

On October 31, Rachel and Philip Ridgeway welcomed twins Lydia and Timothy to their growing family of six. Unlike their other four siblings, though, the twins were conceived via IVF, using donated embryos frozen all the way back in 1992.

The “30-year-old newborns” set a new record for the longest-frozen embryos to ever result in a live birth. The previously known record holder was Molly Gibson, born in 2020 from an embryo that had been frozen for nearly 27 years.

“We really wanted to find those embryos that have been waiting the longest, that have been overlooked multiple times,” Rachel told TODAY in an interview. She says they wanted to know, “Who needs to be picked out?”

Remarkably Philip and Rachel were both just toddlers when the embryos that would grow into their twins were frozen. Philip was five at the time the embryos were frozen, and Rachel was just over three years old. “It’s pretty amazing just knowing that they were created then and have waited that long for us to be able to parent them,” Rachel told TODAY.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, embryos can be frozen and safely stored for 10 years or longer. The procedure involves removing eggs from the ovaries, fertilizing them to create embryos, letting them grow for several days and then freezing them. Once thawed, the embryos can be implanted via IVF. You can learn more about embryo donation and the IVF process here.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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