Spanish authorities have released information that a 10-year-old girl gave birth last week in southern Spain. According to the Associated Press, the family is currently being evaluated by Spanish social affairs personnel to ascertain whether or not the family should be allowed to retain custody of the child. But even at the tender age of 10, and as shocking as the idea might be, the mother isn’t anywhere near the youngest on record.
Micaela Navarro, the Andalusia region’s social affairs minister, told reporters that the 10-year-old mother and child were both in good health. Navarro said that the father was also a minor and, because it appeared to be a case of consensual sex, there would be no criminal investigation into the matter. No names were revealed and it is unclear whether or not the father actually lived in Spain because the 10-year-old and her family were recent immigrants from Romania and the girl was pregnant when she arrived in Spain.
According to the Associated Press, Spanish law considers consensual sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 13 to be child abuse. However, it is unclear if the father would be charged because his age is also unknown (although he is known to be a minor).
The youth of the mother is problematic, both for the mother and for the child. Getting pregnant and giving birth to a child at relatively young ages and while the body is still in development puts the mother and child at greater risk for complications. Babies of teenagers are more likely to be born prematurely and those same infants have a higher mortality inside the first year.
But most studies are done on young females in their teens. Children like the 10-year-old Spanish birth mother are less equipped physiologically and psychologically to care and provide for a child.
But 10 years of age isn’t the youngest a girl has seen motherhood. There have been several documented instances of pre-teen children giving birth to children just in the last century.
A girl barely 10 years old gave birth to a baby girl in St. Anthony, Idaho, in 2008. She had been allegedly raped by a 37-year-old man.
In 2004, a 9-year-old Singapore student gave birth to a baby boy after being impregnated by a classmate. The child was put up for adoption.
The youngest mother on record, according to Time magazine, was only 5 years old when she gave birth via Caesarian section. Lina Medina gave birth to a baby boy on May 14, 1939. Although her father was arrested for suspicion of incest, he was later released due to lack of evidence. The father of Medina’s child was never revealed.
“10-Year-Old gives birth in Southern Spain,” Associated Press via Yahoo.com