This is a little mind-boggling: A healthy baby boy was born in Virgina from an embryo cryopreserved for 20 years. That’s right — the embryo is older than Miley Cyrus. (And the baby boy is wishing they’d waited another 20 years so he could have bypassed the Cyrus family craze altogether.)
You see, in 1990 a couple underwent In Vitro Fertilization. They eventually had a healthy baby boy. They also, as is common, had a number of microscopic embryos that hadn’t been implanted, but were viable. They decided to anonymously donate them. Now, one of those embryos has produced a little boy, 20 years after being created. This May, a 42-year-old woman gave birth to that boy, as reported in the journal Fertility and Sterility.
However, the situation is raising questions (of course) among bioethicists concerning “leftover” life forms frozen in liquid nitrogen.
Bioethicist Arthur Caplan at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, who has written about IVF issues, wonders if embryos might be handed down generation to generation, if there could be accidental inbreeding (I could make another Cyrus family joke here, but I AM ABOVE THAT) among adopted-out embryos, and whether the two boys have rights if they want to meet one day.
Meanwhile, I had another deep thought: If things frozen for that long can come to life after all those years, there is hope for Nicole Kidman’s forehead yet!