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The news could hardly have been more devastating for policeman John Powell. Diagnosed with testicular cancer at the age of 32, he was given only six months to live and told that aggressive chemotherapy would leave him infertile.
That was 21 years ago – and now he and his wife are celebrating the arrival of a daughter. Mr Powell had a sperm sample frozen before he began the treatment and, when he was finally given the all-clear after two decades, it was used to create baby Jasmine.
Preserving embryos by freezing has become commonplace in fertility treatment to allow women to attempt multiple cycles without repeatedly creating new embryos.
Now scientists have announced that a baby boy was born in May to a 42-year-old woman after being adopted as an embryo from a couple who created it 20 years ago.
Previously the oldest successful frozen embryo was 13 years old.
The couple who created the embryo had completed their own family through IVF and anonymously offered their remaining frozen embryos to other couples.