Born In Between

By Azeen Ghorayshi, August 5, 2015, BuzzFeed News

Pam Crawford first saw M.C. nine years ago, on an adoption website for kids with special needs. The photo showed a toddler in a chair, curly black hair pulled tight into pigtails, staring at the camera with a dead-serious expression. A short bio noted that the 18-month-old didn’t like getting her fingers sticky and that she needed a family to help realize her full potential.

While many of the other kids on the site had visible health problems, Pam was unclear what this baby’s special needs could be. “Here was just this perfect little girl,” Pam said recently.

When she called the South Carolina Department of Social Services to find out more, she learned that M.C. was born with a rare condition that produced a patchwork of male and female anatomy.

At birth, M.C.’s external genitalia included a 2-centimeter penis, a small vaginal opening, an undescended testicle on the left side, both ovarian and testicular tissue on the right side, and blood testosterone levels deemed normal for male babies of the same age. The technical name for this condition is “ovotesticular disorder of sexual development.” Some of M.C.’s medical records used the more archaic term: “true hermaphroditism.”

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