Sunday, November 14, 2010

Family Describes 10-Year-Old Girl's Childbirth as Happy Event

The Guardian: Too young to be a mother?, by Giles Tremlett:

A 10-year-old girl giving birth to a baby in Spain has caused outrage. But she and her family seem happy, so why should we be worried?

She is called Nicoletta and, undoubtedly, is as delightful as any healthy newborn baby. But her birth 10 days ago in the southern Spanish city of Jerez has provoked a storm – because her mother is just 10 years old.

What has shocked the rest of the world, however, is described as a happy event by the family. "My daughter is well, as is the little girl – who is very fine and pretty. She is very happy with her daughter," the baby's Romanian grandmother, Olimpia, told Spanish journalists. "This is not a drama, it is a cause for happiness. At this age we marry in Romania. It is normal amongst we Gypsies."

Can that really be true? Recorded examples suggest that mothers this young tend to be victims of abuse or rape. And what does Nicoletta's birth say about everything from the increasingly early development of young girls' bodies and the cultural norms of Romania's Roma community to the laws in Spain, where the child gave birth? . . .

Culture, International, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Sexual Assault, Teenagers and Children | Permalink

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