Couple welcome twins from 30 year old embryos shattering previous record

Philip and Rachel Ridgeway have welcomed their newborn twins from 30-year-old embryos.

Say what now?

On Oct. 31, 2022, the young parents welcomed the newest members of their family, twin siblings Lydia and Timothy. They are babies born from 30-year-old embryos donated at the National Embryo Donation Center, frozen since April 2, 1992.

The embryos in this pregnancy were embryos that were not used by the couple in their in-vitro fertilization treatment (IVF) and were donated so other couples can use them. The unused embryos are preserved using a process called “embryo freezing” or “cryopreservation.”

And these were the embryos that the Ridgeways used for their last pregnancy.

“We’ve never had in our minds a set number of children we’d like to have,” Philip said. “We’ve always thought we’ll have as many as God wants to give us, and … when we heard about embryo adoption, we thought that’s something we would like to do.”

Their twins are the youngest of their six kids. Philip and Rachel already have four children, aged 8 years old, 6 years old, 3 years old, and a one-year-old. The fact that the embryos are already 30 years old did not discourage the couple from using them.

“It’s a tremendous blessing,” Rachel told TODAY.

When they decided to use frozen embryos for this pregnancy, they decided to use the embryos that had been waiting for the longest time and have been overlooked many times.

And it looks like they picked the right one because the embryos gave them two new beautiful family members.

Philip and Rachel said that they explained to their older children about this non-traditional pregnancy.

“We’ve been very open and upfront with them about the whole process,” Philip added. “They’ve been encouraging us and praying with us and excited and looking forward to meeting them.”

Judging from their new family photo, it’s safe to say that the older kids are excited about their new brother and sister.

Looking back on their IVF journey, Philip and Rachel couldn’t help but reflect on the age of the frozen embryos. Philip was five years old and Rachel was 3 years old at the time the embryos were frozen.

“It’s just mind-blowing to think that, at that same point in time, somewhere else, that God was giving life to these children,” Philip shared.

Rachel believes the embryos were meant to be for them.

“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 said.

The frozen embryos were actually kept in a private lab at first. And then in 2007, the couple who created the embryos donated them to the National Embryo Donation Center. They donated the embryos so another couple could use them.

It’s amazing how technology has come so far.

Embryo adoption is a cost-effective solution for couples who want children but have problems with conceiving. Costs are lower because there is no need to look for viable options and store the embryos.

“They don’t get the genetic connection to the children,” Dr. Sigal Klipstein, a Chicago-based fertility specialist, explained. “but they do have a much less expensive reproductive option than even with in-vitro fertilization in most cases.”

The twins were born healthy and without complications.

Lydia was born at 5 pounds, 11 ounces, and Timothy was born at 6 pounds, 7 ounces.

“They were good-size babies,” Rachel added. “It really is God’s grace because he has just sustained us each step of the way.”

Would you like to meet the “oldest” newborn twins? Watch the video below.

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