Kelly Burke, now 45, struggled with infertility before deciding to adopt an embryo in order to have a child—and not just any embryo, but one frozen 18 years ago. A couple in Oregon who went through IVF to have twins in 1994 (themselves using donated eggs) had decided to donate their four remaining embryos. Burke, a NASA research scientist living in Virginia Beach, adopted the embryos in a "rigorous" process last year; son Liam James was born in November 2012. Her doctor believes it's the second-oldest cryopreserved human embryo to result in a live birth. (The oldest, reported in 2010, is believed to be 19 years and 7 months.)
"Embryos are not easy to come by and the opportunity came unexpectedly. I was excited by the idea of carrying my child," says Burke in a press release from the Reproductive Science Center of the Bay Area, which housed the embryos and performed the implantation. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that it was an open embryo adoption, so her son will have a relationship with his siblings—who will be of voting age as Liam turns one.