Twins Timothy and Lydia Ridgeway were born in Oregon in October.
But technically, they are 30 years old, having been conceived in April of 1992.
Children of Philip and Rachel Ridgeway, the twins have set a world record for having been born from oldest frozen embryos, according to The New York Post.
The Ridgeways already had four children, but believed they were called to have more. They also told the Post they wanted to help needy children.
“We liked the idea that we are saving lives that are trapped,” said Philip, who at 35 is, in a way, only 5 years older than his twins.
They sought the oldest embryos from the National Embryo Donation Center in Knoxville, Tennessee, a nonprofit to which unwanted embryos are donated.
Rachel, 34, said she and her husband knew basic information about the genetic parents, such as weight and height, but that’s not the criteria by which they would choose.
Rather, they wanted to know how long children “were waiting for parents to come and get them.”
After developing the twins with an egg donor, the embryos were frozen and stored. But the biological father of the children later died before the embryos could be used, The Post said.
Subsequently, the frozen embryos were donated to NEDC, a Christian nonprofit that provides embryos to parents wanting children. The organization requires would-be parents to be heterosexual, married for at least three years and to successfully complete a home study.
A problem with frozen embryos is that when some are unwanted, they are thawed and discarded or given for scientific research. Others are kept frozen indefinitely. Some go to individuals unable to conceive.
Parents receiving embryos from NEDC can save thousands of dollars compared to standard in vitro fertilization procedures, since the embryonic fertilization process has already taken place.
Since many people, like the Ridgeways, who are evangelical Christians, accept the personhood of embryos, a logistical problem has developed because of the morality-based refusal to destroy them. NEDC has about 6,000 embryos. The organization estimates a million are being stored across the nation.
Some anti-abortion states have personhood laws protecting embryos, according to The Post.
NEDC has aided in the birth of more than 1,260 children, CNN reported.
Some refer to what the Ridgeways did in taking the twins as “embryo adoption,” the Post reported.
But Dr. Sigal Klipstein, chair of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s committee on ethics, disagrees, CNN reported.
“Adoption refers to living children,” she said. “It’s a legal process by which a parent-child relationship is created when it did not previously exist.”
Donation of embryos is a medical procedure, according to Klipstein. “It’s a way by which we take embryos from one couple or individual and then transfer them into another individual in order to build families.”
The Ridgeways had three children in 2020, when they began the process of embryo adoption. But then Rachel got pregnant.
After Rachel gave birth to a daughter, the Ridgeways chose the set of five embryos, which were thawed in February of 2022. Three embryos survived and were placed in Rachel’s uterus. She gave birth to the twins on October 31.
“I don’t think we ever considered traditional adoption,” Philip told the Post. Frozen embryos are “all human beings in the image of God. They’re all in need of a father and mother, and this was a case where we could provide that need.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.