Lina Medina became the youngest mother in history when she gave birth to her child at the age of five years, seven months, and 21 days. 

Lina Medina with her son

Born in 1934, Medina was by most accounts a normal child until her parents noticed that their five-year-old daughter had an enlarged belly. Her parents took her to the hospital fearing a tumor, but the truth came out, their daughter was in her seventh month of pregnancy.

Medina’s unusual case took pediatricians by surprise and attracted attention worldwide, which neither she nor her family wanted.

On May 14, 1939, Medina gave birth via C-section to a healthy baby boy. Her son weighed 2.7 kg at birth and was named Gerardo after the doctor.

Gerardo was raised believing that Medina was his sister before he found out himself at the age of 10 that Medina was in fact his birth mother. However, the mystery continues to surround Lina Medina, the world’s youngest mother, who is the father? How Lina Medina got pregnant?

Medina’s father was arrested on suspicion of child sexual abuse, but he was later released due to lack of evidence. Gerardo grew up healthy, before dying at the age of 40 from bone marrow disease.

Who is Lina Medina?

Lina Medina was born on September 23, 1933, in Ticrapo, Peru, to parents Tiburelo Medina and Victoria Losea, her father was a silversmith, and she was one of nine children to her parents.

Lina Medina with her child

Her pregnancy came as a shock to her loved ones, and the public too, no one knew the father. It is believed that Medina had a rare genetic condition called precocious puberty, which occurs at an unusually early age. The condition causes a child’s body to change into that of an adult before time. (before 8 years in girls and 9 years in boys)

Due to this disease, early pubic hair, breast, or genital development may result from natural early maturation or from several other conditions.

Boys with the condition will experience a deepening voice, enlarged genitals, and facial hair, whereas girl with this condition have their first period and develop breasts early on. It generally affects one in every 10,000 children. It affects almost 10 times more girls than boys.

At the time Medina had already developed breasts, wider than normal hips, and advanced bone growth. Even though her body was developing very early than it should have, she was still a very young child.

Who was the father of Lina Medina’s child?

“Precocious puberty” gives us partial answers to how Medina got pregnant, but it doesn’t explain everything. She never mentioned anything about the father of the boy. Medina’s father was arrested on suspicion of child sexual abuse, but he was later released due to lack of evidence. Gerardo grew up healthy, before dying at the age of 40 from bone marrow disease.

In the upcoming years, various theories were speculated, a highly believed theory was that Medina was attacked during unspecified festivities that took place near her village, but it was never proven and thus disregarded.

Lina Medina stayed silent over the decades

Medina was offered thousands of dollars for the right to interview and to film her, but every offer went down the drain. Their family was even paid to come to the United States, but every time Medina and her family chose to not speak publically.

Lina Medina with her son

Even after eight decades, this seems an unlikely to be the case, the family never tried to capitalize on the story and medical records from the time doesn’t provide enough documentation of her condition during her pregnancy.

At the time of pregnancy, only two photographs were known to be taken, and only one of those was published outside the medical literature.

Although the case of Lina Medina was speculated as a hoax, a number of doctors over the years have verified it based on biopsies, X-rays of the fetal skeleton that shows the bones of a developing fetus inside her body, and photograph of the doctors caring for pregnant Medina.

Where is Lina Medina now?

Lina Medina appears to have received good medical care, especially given her age and location, and she gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

Lina medina with her husband

C section was performed because, despite Medina’s prematurely widened hips, she would have had difficulty passing a full-sized child through the birth canal. After being released from the hospital, the infant was named Gerardo after the doctor who first examined Medina, and he returned to his family’s village of Ticrapo.

Paul Koask, a child education specialist at Columbia University, was granted permission to visit the Medina family two years after the birth. Koask discovered that the world’s youngest mother was “above normal intelligence” and her baby was “perfectly normal.”

According to Jose Sandoval, an obstetrician who wrote a book about the Medina case, Medina frequently preferred to play with her dolls rather than her child. Gerardo, on the other hand, grew up believing Medina was his older sister. He discovered the truth when he was about ten years old.

In her early twenties, she found work as a secretary for the doctor who attended the birth, which helped her pay her way through college. Around the same time, Medina was able to send Gerardo to school.

Lina Medina married a man named Raul Jurado in the early 1970s, and gave birth to her second son when she was in her 30s. As of 2002, she and Jurado are still married and living in Lima, Peru. As she always chose to stay away from the publicity, it’s best Medina’s personal life remains private, if she still alive she would be in her 80s today.

Now that you’ve read about Lina Medina, read about the tallest man on earth, Robert Waldow.