Authorities in Spain were today trying to decide what to do with a 10-year-old girl and the baby she gave birth to last week, admitting they had never before encountered such a young mother.
The girl gave birth in a hospital in the southern city of Jerez on 26 October, though the case only came to light today. Doctors remarked that both the girl and her mother, who accompanied her to the hospital, seemed calm about the birth.
The young mother was allowed home at the weekend with the healthy 2.9kg (6.4lb) baby, whose father was reported to be an under-age boy.
"The important thing is that both the baby and the mother should be cared for properly," said Micaela Navarro, head of the health service in the region of Andalucía.
"If that is the case, then they can stay with their family without any problem. That is what we are checking on at the moment. She might be the mother, but she is herself a minor," she added.
Navarro did not explain why the checks had not been carried out earlier.
The Diario de Sevilla newspaper reported that, despite the age of the mother, a caesarean had not been necessary.
But doctors warned that pregnancies carried health risks for very young girls. "At a young age your bones are not even fully formed," said Dr Adolfo López Gómez of Seville's Sagrado Corazón hospital.
"The high level of hormonal activity caused by a pregnancy can provoke problems."
Andalucía had 177 children born to girls who were 14 or under in 2008 – though no one can recall a case involving a 10-year-old.
Doctors remarked that the baby was welcomed into the new family, who said that childbirth at a young age was not abnormal in their native Romania, according to the local Diario de Jerez newspaper.
Spain allows marriage, where a judge deems there are exceptional circumstances, at 14 years old.
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