10-year-old gives birth in Spain; grandmother calls it normal
Reports are coming out with headlines reading “10-year-old gives birth.” The birth occurred in Jelez de la Frontera, in the region of Andalusia, Spain. The mother insists that her daughter is happy after giving birth, even at such a young age. The girl in question and her mother Olimpia are Roma, or Gypsies. The new grandmother has insisted the event is nothing out of the ordinary.
10-year-old gives birth
A story from Andalusia has gone viral, as the headline “10-year-old gives birth” is spreading all over the internet. Recently, in Jelez de la Frontera, a 10-year-old Roma girl gave birth to a daughter, according to the Huffington Post. The 10-year-old’s mother, Olimpia, is keeping her daughter’s identity private. The father is believed to be a 13-year-old male, whose name and whereabouts are unverified, but he is believed to be in Romania. He and the new mother are no longer dating. Olimpia, the new grandmother, insists that the event is nothing new to her, as many girls in Roma cultures marry and give birth quite young. The marriages are often arranged, despite the fact that both arranged and underage marriages are illegal in many countries.
Twice the age of record
The youngest mother on record was Lina Medina, a Peruvian girl who gave birth in 1939 at 5 years old, according to AOL News. There is a phenomenon called precocious puberty, where children begin puberty early, often due to a hormone imbalance. Typically, if a female with precocious puberty gives birth to a child, the alleged father is arrested. In Spain, the legal age of consent for minors is 13, and breach of that brings charges of child abuse. Andalusia has the highest rate of teen pregnancies, accounting for 48 of the 177 births by girls younger than 15 in Spain in 2008.
Different cultures, different customs
The very young age at which some are married is one of the most frequent criticisms of the Roma culture in Europe. Recently, many of the Roma living in France were expelled by government edict.