A male infant was delivered in a hospital in Guangzhou, capital city of Guangdong province on March 13. Unlike other babies, the boy is already 18 years old. His sister who was the same age with him, came to the world 17 years ago.
The boy’s mother, Ms.Xu, is a 48-year-old farmer in Guangzhou. She froze 13 of her embryos in a hospital in 1999 and gave birth to a girl with one of the embryos.
Last year, when a second child became allowed in a family, Ms.Xu and her husband wanted to have another child, but she couldn’t get pregnant through the natural process due to ovary failure, she thought about the embryos in the hospital.
“The embryos have been kept in liquid nitrogen under the temperature of - 196°C. They were all well reserved,” Zhou Canquan, leader of the gynaecology and obstetrics department at the Zhongshan No.1 hospital.
Ms. Xu paid the freezing and custody fees over the past 18 years, which was about 10,000 yuan ( $1,587 USD), and got pregnant on July, 2016.
She gave birth to a 2.88kg baby boy on March 13, after 37 weeks and four days of pregnancy.
Ms. Xu was hoping to go through natural labour, but later agreed to have a cesarean delivery as the hospital consider it too risky for her age.
Both the mother and the baby were healthy and in good condition, however, this does not mean that this experience could be widely copied. “In fact, the success rate of assisted reproduction technique was less than 5% for women over 45 years old. Even if the embryo is planted without too much problem, it is still risky to the mother who was no longer young for such labour.”
Ms. Xu was happy and said that “If this embryo turns out to be a girl again, I’m going to have another.”
The hospital plans to study the frozen embryos about whether and how the freezing would influence the babies concerned of their growth, disease and reproduction health.
“We’ll track their conditions, but perhaps it would wait until they give birth to real any conclusion,” said Zhou.