Miracles are bound to happen, aren’t they? Well, if you don’t think so, you may want to reconsider it as you hear the story of the twin babies, Lydia and Timothy Ridgeway.
According to the most astounding news of the past week, a lucky couple from the USA has greeted twins born from the longest-frozen embryos to ever result in a live birth.
Lydia and Timothy Ridgeway were born on October 31, 1992, in Oregon, from embryos frozen on April 22, 1992. The embryos were kept at a West Coast fertility lab for nearly 30 years until 2007, when the anonymous married couple who created them donated them to the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) in Knoxville, Tennessee.
They were preserved for nearly three decades on tiny straws in liquid nitrogen at a temperature of almost 200 degrees below zero, in a container resembling a propane tank.
The NEDC reports that Timothy and Lydia’s twins have broken the previous record for the transfer of the longest-frozen embryo that resulted in a birth. The prior record was also established by the Knoxville-based center in 2020 when a child was born from a 27-year-old embryo and her sister from a 24-year-old frozen embryo.
Embryo Donation: What Do You Need To Know?
The NEDC is a nonprofit, faith-based organization that makes use of the medical procedure known as embryo donation, the medical name for the process the Ridgeways went through.
When a couple who used in-vitro fertilization (IVF) produced more embryos (fertilized eggs) than they required, this process took place. The extra embryos may be donated to research, cryopreserved (frozen) for future use, or people who want to become pregnant and give birth to a child.
When the twins of Rachel and Philip Ridgeway were conceived via IVF by an unnamed married couple, they were only three and five years old, respectively. They used a 34-year-old egg donor and the husband was in his 50s when they were conceived.
Embryos must adhere to certain US Food and Drug Administration eligibility requirements, including being screened for specific infectious diseases, in order to be donated, just like any other human tissue.
According to the National Embryo Donation Center, embryo adoption is not a legal “adoption” at all, at least not in the sense of a conventional adoption that takes place after birth. However, they continued, the term “non-genetically related child” enables all parties to conceptualize the procedure and eventual reality of raising such a child.
Application of the term “adoption” to embryos, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, is inaccurate, misleading, and could burden recipients. It should be avoided.
Adoption and donation are two different processes, despite the fact that many people casually refer to the donor procedure as “embryo adoption,” according to Dr. Sigal Klipstein, a fertility specialist in Chicago and the head of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s ethics committee.
According to Klipstein, “adoption refers to living children.” When a parent-child relationship did not already exist, it can be established legally.
She claimed that embryo donation is a medical procedure. It’s a technique used to create families in which embryos from one couple or person are transferred into a different person.
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The happy couples react
The Ridgeways’ decision to start a family was always a result of a greater calling.
“We weren’t looking to get the embryos that have been frozen the longest in the world,” Philip Ridgeway said. “We just wanted the ones that had been waiting for the longest.”
Further expressing their happiness and deep trust in God, the couples said that the “age was irrelevant” and they were prepared to accept whatever he had sovereignly planned.
The Ridgeways’ other four children are eight, six, three, and almost two years old. Lydia weighed 5 pounds, 11 ounces at birth, and Timothy weighed 6 pounds, 7 ounces.