A couple in Knoxville, Tennessee, welcomed twins born from embryos that were frozen 30 years ago.

When Rachel and Philip Ridgeway started their first IVF journey to have more children, they consulted with the National Embryo Donation Center. Of the five embryos that were thawed for them, three were viable.

The embryos were donated in 1992. They originally belonged to an anonymous married couple at a West Coast fertility facility, using eggs from a 34-year-old donor and the husband’s sperm.

The Ridgeways, who were already parents to four other children, ages 8, 6, 3 and 2, spoke to CNN and said they had no set plans for how many children they wanted to have.

“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.”

“There is something mind-boggling about it,” Philip continued. “In a sense, they’re our oldest children, even though they’re our smallest children.”

The embryos were frozen on April 22, 1992. Almost 30 years later, on February 28, Rachel Ridgeway opted to transfer all three of the viable embryos. She said, “You just showed me a picture of my three children. I have to have them all.”

Only two were successfully transferred. Studies suggest that frozen embryos have about an 80% chance of survival when being thawed. But only 25%-40% of those frozen embryos result in live birth.

Rachel Ridgeway gave birth to the twins on October 31, 2022. Lydia was born 5 lbs. 11 oz., and Timothy was 6 lbs. 7 oz.

Dr. Jim Toner, a fertility specialist in Atlanta, said, “It doesn’t seem like a sperm or an egg or embryo stored in liquid nitrogen ever experiences time. It’s like that Rip Van Winkle thing. It just wakes up 30 years later, and it never knew it was asleep.”

The previous record for frozen embryos resulting in a live birth was held by Molly Gibson, who was born to a couple 27 years after her embryo was frozen.

The topic of freezing your eggs has been having a moment recently. From the heartbreaking interview about Jennifer Aniston’ IVF journey to the fact that younger demographics are considering egg freezing as an option to start their families later in life.

What’s important to note is that everyone’s journey to starting or expanding their family is different. Deciding whether egg freezing or embryo freezing is right for you is a big decision and there are many factors involved in the process.