10-year-old girl becomes mom, dad a minor too

MADRID: A 10-year-old girl has given birth in southern Spain and authorities are evaluating whether to let her and her family retain custody of the baby, an official said on Tuesday.

The baby was born last week in the city of Jerez de la Frontera, said Micaela Navarro, who is the Andalusia region’s minister of social affairs.

Navarro told reporters the father of the baby is also a minor, and both the mother and the baby were in good health. Her department declined to give further details , such as the sex of baby.

Spanish newspapers said that the mother is of Romanian origin. The daily Diario de Jerez quoted medical staffers who treated the girl as saying that they were told by her mother that giving birth at such a young age is common in their country.

The Romanian girl became pregnant before coming to Spain, according to media reports.

Medical experts warn that because young girls are still growing themselves, they are at higher risk during pregnancy.

Studies have shown that teenage girls are more likely to give birth to premature babies and their infants also have a higher chance of dying by age one.

As reported by the ministry of Equality, the 10-year-old girl has not requested assistance, so the family will take care of two children . However, community social services in Jerez will monitor the case. Social services have refused to say if a police investigation will be launched into the matter of the conception.

In Andalucia, 48 under 15’s gave birth in 2008, the last year for which the National Statistics Institute (INE) provides data. Across Spain, in the same year there were 177 births from underaged mothers.(Agencies)

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