MANILA, Philippines | Jose Maria Garcia, a 19-year old born with both ovaries and testicles and who has both male and female sex organs has given birth this morning at the Amisola Maternity Hospital, reports the Manila Times.
Both babies were also born hermaphrodites, displaying physical characteristics and genitals of both genders, a “miraculous event” according to Dr. Xi Huan Chow, Medical director at Amisola Maternity Hospital.
“We are privileged to experience such an unusual birth” he told reporters, visibly happy with the turn of events. “Hundreds of people have come to witness these miracles of nature. Both babies are extremely healthy and vibrant with life,” he explained with enthusiasm.
An unexpected birth
Jose Maria Garcia, the mother and father of the two children, admits the birth was not expected at all.
“I have never had any sexual experience with someone outside of myself. I was unaware that I could impregnate myself, but I would never go back even with what I know now. These children are beautiful and I am happy to share my life with them,” he told reporters.
An extremely rare chromosomal disorder
Most experts believe such an occurrence is impossible outside of the animal kingdom, although many cases of human self-fertilization have been reported in medical literature, explains leading researcher Dr. Akira Hashimoto of the University of Tokyo.
“In asexual reproduction, an organism can reproduce without the involvement of another organism. Asexual reproduction is not limited to single-celled organisms. For example, a great number of snails and slugs are hermaphrodites. Hermaphroditism is also found in some fish species and to a lesser degree in other vertebrates,” he acknowledges. “The evolution of sexual reproduction is still a major puzzle for biologists,” he admits.
The first account of self-fertilization in history is ascribed to Juanita Franciscella, a Spanish street artist also known as the “bearded woman of Castilla”, who in 1483 is said to have given birth to a child of her own conception. The birth was judged heretical by the Spanish Inquisition and she was burned with her child at the stake.