Quintuplets: A History


On Thursday March 20, a teacher from Texas gave birth to quintuplets. The babies were born by C-section after 29 weeks and were breathing on their own. This comes 80 years after the first set of five babies surviving infancy in the west was brought into the world in a very short history of quintuplets.

The Texas quints born to Steven and Michelle Seals, included one boy and four girls named Mia, Tessa, Brant, Gracie, and Rayleigh. All of the siblings were in good condition and will remain in the hospital for six to eight weeks.

Texas seems to be prone to multiple births. In 2012, a family gave birth to sextuplets. All six of the babies survived with the last of them being released from the hospital after 4 months. The New York Daily News reported that to care for that many children it would cost $1.4 million dollars up to the age of 18. The price tag to care for five children would be less, but still quite high.

The birth of the Texas quintuplets occurs 80 years since the Dionne sisters were brought into the world on May 28, 1934 in Corbeil, Ontario. The quintuplets were the first to survive infancy worldwide. Sadly the Government of Ontario took custody of them in order to avoid exploitation. What followed was the exact opposite as the area they were staying at became known as Quintland and attracted millions of tourists. When the quintuplets were nine the parents took back custody, but the family never bonded. In 2010, Mental Floss wrote that only two of the sisters were still alive.

The history of surviving quintuplets in the U.S. stretches back only to 1963, when a boy and four girls was born to Mary Ann Fischer in San Diego. A large parade followed with 50,000 in attendance and medals given to each children by Pope Paul VI. The quintuplets were five of 11 children in the Fischer family. The hardworking mother passed away at the age of 79 in 2012.

The most recent reported birth of quintuplets was in May 2013 in Utah where Guillermina and Fernando Garcia had three girls and two boys. Five months later in Phoenix the Derrico’s added five more members to their family, three girls and two boys.

Quintuplets are rare, but there are still quite a number being born each year . There is no data available yet regarding 2013, but National Vital Statistics said in 2012 45 quintuplets were born in the U.S. This is in comparison to 276 quadruplets and 4598 triplets. The data said there was a decline of multiple births in 2012 to its lowest number since 1994 by almost nine percent.

The New York Times reported in December 2013 that the increased birth of multiple sets of babies is made possible in most cases by in-vitro fertilization, with doctors implanting multiple embryos in a woman. The number of triplets born or more reached a peak in 1998, but then decreased from 48 percent to 32 percent in 2011 due to stricter guidelines.

In regards to the new Texas quintuplets, the mother had a history of miscarriages and had undergone fertility treatments leading to the unexpected birth of five. Seals called her children tiny and precious and said she cannot wait to get her hands on them. The family already has a two-year-old son.

By Kollin Lore


New York Daily News
The New York Daily News 2
The New York Times
National Vital Statistics Report
Mental Floss
Fox News

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