Saturday, February 14, 2009

Disturbingly young parents

News I heard last night about a very young boy who has fathered a child prompted this post. The youngest mother on record is Lina Medina of the Andean village of Ticrapo, Peru. The pregnancy was discovered when her parents brought her to the hospital for examination of what they thought was a massive abdominal tumor. The identity of the father was not discovered because Lina "couldn't give precise answers." She made medical history when she gave birth to a 6 lb. baby boy by Caesarean section on May 14, 1939. Her "precocious fertility" was attributed to an extraordinary hormonal disorder. Her son Gerardo (1939-1979) was raised by the family as her brother. She was 5 years, 7 months, and 21 days old.

Alfie Patten of Eastbourne, England, is one of the youngest fathers on record. He impregnated his girlfriend Chantelle Steadman at the age of 12. He is now 13 and was at her bedside on February 9, 2009, when she gave birth to a 7 lb. 3 oz. baby girl they named Maisie Roxanne. Though Alfie and Chantelle each live at home and are supported by their parents, they hope to raise the child together. "We know we made a mistake but I wouldn’t change it now. We will be good loving parents....I’ll be a great mum and Alfie will be a great dad,” said Chantelle. The incredibly young parents are surprised, their families are concerned but committed, politicians are in an uproar, and the rest of us are gobsmacked.

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