Woman Gives Birth From Human Embryo Frozen for 19 Years

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 27, 2013   |   3:53PM   |   Richmond, VA

How long can a human embryo be frozen at a fertility clinic and still be implanted in a mother’s womb and be able to grow and develop to birth? One woman implanted a unique human being and gave birth to a child 19 years after initial freezing.

Kelly Burke, 45, recently gave birth to what her doctors say is the oldest frozen human embryo to grow successfully through a pregnancy and be born.

From a local report on the story of Burke and her baby:

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,” said Burke.

Burke adopted the four frozen embryos after completing a strict adoption process.

Burke gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Liam James, who Burke adopted in an open adoption process.