While reading the morning paper I came across this shocking – and true – story about a 13 year old boy (he looks 10) who impregnated his 15 year old girlfriend. While teen pregnancy is nothing new, and sadly many 13 year old (and younger) girls become pregnant every year, it is rare that the father of such unions is so young.
But is this a case of sexual molestation? After all the girl was only 15. The answer is, I don’t think so, not in the traditional sense. Certainly it’s appaling to be sure, but since both children are under the age of consent, it’s not a case of sexual predation or molestation. The real question is – WHERE WERE THE PARENTS?
Read on and you be as shocked as I was.
Looking and sounding more like an older brother than a dad (his voice hasn’t broken yet), here’s 13-year-old Alfie Patten tenderly cradling his newborn daughter, Maisie, who was born on Monday. Alfie says he’s up for the challenge. “I didn’t know what it would be like to be a dad,” he said. “I will be good, though, and care for it.”
When this baby-faced, 4-foot tall boy was asked how he plans to provide for the baby financially, he replied, “What’s financially?” Asked what he’ll do about money, he says “I don’t know,” and looks away. Diapers cost “a lot,” Alfie thinks, but he’s not sure how he’s going to pay for them. “I don’t really get pocket money. My dad sometimes gives me £10.”
Clearly, Alfie, Maisie, and her mom, 15-year-old Chantelle Stedman, will need to be supported by their parents. The three are currently living with Chantelle’s parents and her five brothers. Her father, Steve, is jobless.
It might just be the adults that got everyone into this situation. “The Stedmans let the kids run wild on the street until all hours, they have no control over them,” a neighbor told The Daily Mail. Alfie was often encouraged to stay overnight — even keeping a school uniform there — despite the fact that Alfie’s mother lives nearby, and despite the fact he was only 12.
Who’s watching who here? Where are the parents?
A lot of parents feel daunted by the responsibilities of parenthood, but for Alfie, ignorance just might be bliss. He seems determined to be the best dad he can be, while being woefully unaware about how his life has changed. “Everyone is telling him things and it’s going round in his head,” said Alfie’s dad, Dennis. “It hasn’t really dawned on him. He hasn’t got a clue of what the baby means and can’t explain how he feels. All he knows is mum and dad will help…They have no idea what lies ahead.”
Still, Alfie wanted to be the first to hold the baby, born at 7 lbs 3 oz, and he spent every day at the hospital after Maisie was born. The kid deserves some credit for stepping up and wanting to be a dad, even if he’s still a boy.
Dad Dennis says the next thing on the agenda is a “birds and bees” talk between him and Alfie. Seems like too little, too late. Chantelle reportedly became pregnant after one night of unprotected sex; Alfie was 12 at the time.
What are your thoughs about Alfie having sex at 12 and becoming a father at age 13?