A healthy baby born in Norfolk, Va., from an embryo that was frozen nineteen years earlier, has many people talking.
Kelly Burke, 45, is a NASA research scientist. Burke recently gave birth to what doctor's say is only the second oldest birth from a frozen embryo.
Nineteen years ago, a woman donated her eggs to the Reproductive Science Center of the Bay Area. The couple from Oregon had been struggling with infertility and opted to try in vitro fertilization.
Officials at RSC said the couple successfully gave birth to fraternal twins from the procedure. During the IVF, additional eggs from the donating mother were frozen.
Burke, who was passionate about becoming a mother, had tried a number of different procedures in hopes of conceiving. In 2012, Burke discovered the Oregon couple was willing to donate embryos that had been frozen nearly two decades ago.
"Embryos are not easy to come by and the opportunity came unexpectedly. I was excited by the idea of carrying my child," says Kelly.
The NASA scientist adopted the four frozen embryos after completing a strict adoption process.
"We were all very excited about the procedure," recalls Dr. Deborah Wachs, a reproductive endocrinologist at RSC – the fertility clinic recognized for the nation's second successful birth from a frozen embryo in 1986.
"In Kelly's case, we decided to thaw all four day-2 embryos and culture them in our IVF lab to the day-5 blastocyst stage. We were successful in growing all four embryos to the day-5 stage. Kelly had two embryos transferred and was able to re-freeze the other two, giving her the option to have a second child later on if she so chooses."
Kelly gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Liam James. Officials at RSC said, "The embryo donors and Kelly agreed to have an open embryo adoption, which means her nine-month-old will one day have the chance to know his fraternal siblings who are now in their teens".