A ten-year-old girl gave birth last week in the city of Jerez de la Frontera, in southern Spain. Mother and baby are reportedly in good health. Is this the youngest-ever mother in Europe?
The girl is a Romanian gypsy who arrived in Spain with her mother just three weeks ago, so that she could have her baby there. The mother, who identified herself as Olimpia, has said that she is “delighted” to have a new granddaughter, adding that they plan to stay in Spain, and that the father of the baby, age 13, is no longer in the picture.
Romanian Gypsy Mother Doesn’t Understand The Problem
Olimpia also said that she doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about because she and her daughter are Romanian Gypsies and their culture allows girls to marry young even though it’s against the law in Romania.
“That’s the way we get married,” she told reporters on Tuesday, November 2, outside the apartment building in the southern town of Lebrija where the family is staying.
Consensual Sex Under Age 13
But yes, fuss there is. Spanish newspapers report outrage, and the local social service authorities are deciding whether to let the girl and her family retain custody of the baby. Under Spanish law, having consensual sex with someone under age 13 is classified as child abuse. But a Justice Ministry official said this particular case is complicated, because the alleged father is not in Spain and is also a minor, so it is not clear whether he could be charged.
Child Giving Birth To A Child
But that’s not the biggest issue here, obviously. A child giving birth to a child is the issue, and throwing in the idea of marriage is completely beside the point.
This case is a tragic story. Ask any fourth grader, girl or boy, what they would think about becoming a parent, and how do you think they will respond? It’s a time of exploration and excitement, and the beginning of developing independence, moving towards adolescence.
What About Children’s Rights?
How can a ten-year-old grasp that she has a baby now, but that she will be responsible for another human being for the rest of her life?
And what about the child, with a mother just ten years older than her?
What do you think about ten-year-olds giving birth?
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