Can you imagine giving birth to a baby that potentially could have been at school with you?

It’s mind-boggling right? But thanks to the wonder of science, a woman from Tennessee has done just that.

Tina Gibson, 26. gave birth to this little cutie, Emma Wren, last month after using embryo adoption  to get pregnant. And if that isn’t cool enough, Emma was born from a 24-year-old embryo, frozen when Tina was just 18 months old.

“This embryo and I could have been best friends,” the proud new mum jokes. And with frozen embryos referred to as ‘snow babies’, she’s pretty much the perfect Christmas miracle too.

Tina Gibson baby Emma oldest frozen embryo
Image: Southern Charm Portraits

Seriously, how cool is science?! 

Tina and her husband, Benjamin are smitten with their new daughter. “Emma is such a sweet miracle,” proud Daddy Benjamin says. “I think she looks pretty perfect to have been frozen all those years ago.”

The couple knew from the start they couldn’t get pregnant naturally because Benjamin has cystic fibrosis.

“My husband has cystic fibrosis, so infertility is common,” Tina tells CNN. “We had decided that we were more than likely going to adopt, and we were fine with that.”

Embryo adoption

Then Benjamin’s dad told them about embryo adoption, where frozen embryos leftover from other people’s IVF treatment are donated to an infertile couple.

After careful consideration, they decided to go ahead. They looked at some 500 profiles before landing on the embryo that would be a world record holder.

“During August of last year, I just came home one day; I looked at Benjamin, and I said, ‘I think we need to submit an application for embryo adoption,’ ” she told CNN. “On a whim, we filled out an application and submitted that night.”

Emma Wren Gibson born from embryo frozen 24 years


It’s a world record!

But they didn’t know anything about the age of the embryo until the transplant day. That’s when their doctor revealed it had been frozen in 1992.

“The NEDC has been privileged to work with the Gibsons to help them realize their dreams of becoming parents,” Dr Jeffrey Keenan said.  “We hope this story is a clarion call to all couples who have embryos in long-term storage to consider this life-affirming option for their embryos.”

This little miracle baby, born with her heart outside her body, will give you even more reason to wonder at medical science.


Originally from the UK, but now very much at home on the sunny NSW Central Coast, Sarah is mum to 18-month-old Freddy. When she's not writing, you'll find her at the beach, chasing Freddy at high speed, or drinking tea and eating cake whilst thinking about going to the gym.

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