In a twist on adoption, a Tennessee infant born in October now holds a world record that was previously claimed by her big sister. Per the New York Post, Tina and Ben Gibson had tried to have a child for five years, but they'd struggled to conceive (Ben has cystic fibrosis, which can cause fertility issues). In 2017, however, they heard about a process called embryo adoption, in which an embryo created via IVF is donated by the biological parents and frozen until ready for transfer to the adoptive mom, USA Today reports. The Gibsons arranged to have their first embryo adoption through the National Embryo Donation Center in Knoxville, and on the day of the transfer to Tina, they found out the embryo had been on ice for 24 years. Emma Wren was born in November 2017, setting a world record for the longest-frozen embryo resulting in a birth. A couple of years later, the Gibsons wanted a second child—and they knew what they wanted to do.
A second embryo had been donated and frozen in 1992 by the same biological parents as Emma's, so the Gibsons had that one implanted in February of this year, which means the embryo was more than 27 years old at the time of transfer. Molly Everette, Emma's genetic sibling, was born on Oct. 26. "That sets the record for the longest frozen embryo to ever come to birth," WBIR reports. "It's just kind of funny—here we go again with another world record," Tina tells CNN. NEDC President Dr. Jeffrey Keenan tells USA Today the average age of a transferred embryo is 10 to 12 years old. The Gibsons tell the Post they're thinking of eventually adding to their family, though this time they'll likely adopt. Meanwhile, the embryologist who thawed Molly's embryo tells Good Morning America: "This definitely reflects on the technology used all those years ago." (Read more uplifting news stories.)