Baby Daddy

It is almost one it still feels too early in the morning for this:

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British young'uns Alfie Patten (age 13) and his girlfriend Chantelle Steadman (age 15) just gave birth to a bouncing baby of their own.

How is the media responding? The headlines (including this one) all feature the thirteen-year-old dad, and the articles dwell on how Alfie will cope with fatherhood. I think it's mostly shock factor inspiring the press: the couple only had sex once, and Alfie looks especially young for his age...or for a dad.

But beneath the jaw-dropping photos and videos, what is the coverage saying about acceptable parenting? Teenagers give birth all the time, but there's something about this case that is stirring up some concern about fatherhood.

While no one's condoning the couple (that is, aside from pro-life organizations), the articles seem to focus more on how Alfie needs to man-up, asking him questions like "How much do nappies cost?" and "Are you going to get job?" Do teenage moms get questions like this? Or the press to begin with? The Times quotes Alfie's father: "He could have shrugged his shoulders and sat at home on his Playstation. But he has been at the hospital everyday." Well, so has Chantelle I imagine. Are we actually celebrating Alfie's naive resolve to own up to the pregnancy? But then we remember he's thirteen? And then why print how little the teens know about parenting and not how little they know about safe sex?

Yep, still way too early for all of this....

UPDATE: Jezebel covers the story's veer towards Clusterfuck City including the inevitable backlash at teen mom and further confusing paternity issues. Is this always what we should expect when our tweens are expecting?

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Comments

21 comments have been made. Post a comment.

Those Poor Kids

That's pretty much all I can think to say about this right now. Those poor, poor kids.

Stop being so sorry for them

they did it to themselves so shut up and stop feeling bad for them every one who has sex knows the possibilities that it may cause. so hush its not like she couldn't have said no or he could have said i dont want to or they could have just resorted to a horrible decision but they didnt so stop feeling bad for the kids and everyone needs to leave them alone so they can give that baby a good live

Wow

I've read about this on a few gossip sites (yeah, I'm guilty of reading Perez Hilton) and I can't get over it.

The real issue is the fact that these kids probably had NO IDEA what they were getting themselves into when they had sex. It's scary. While 13 may seem "young", it's rather sad that his parents had not had "the talk" with him yet.

I'm really at a lose for words. And why does it seem like there is a huge difference between 13 and 15?

Baffling

Everything about this makes me sad. My mother made sure to sit me down and educate me on sex and pregnancy when I was very, very young, and I've always been so appreciative of her honesty and frankness with that and other topics that, from what I understand, are so awkward and difficult for so many other parents to discuss with their children. I think it's a shame. I remember a boy in my sixth grade class telling me he had condoms with him in case he and his girlfriend had sex, and being completely shocked that kids my own age were actually planning on having sex. I can't even wrap my head around being a 15-year-old mom... or a 26-year-old one, for that matter, but wow. I hope that baby will be taken care of and get the love it deserves.

I am just disgusted by this.

I am just disgusted by this. What would possess a 15-year-old girl to have sex with a 12-year-old who looks 8? That's borderline pedophilic. And now they have a baby to care for? Didn't anyone teach them about sex? I think the reason why the media is treating this like it is because it's so grotesque because he looks so young and infantile himself. The whole thing is just so creepy. There are times like this when I'm thankful that America has age-of-consent laws.

Open dialogue for change

It's an incredibly sad and disturbing fact that the UK has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe, despite having 16 as the age of consent. I think this has a lot to do with lack of education, poverty and the drinking culture here. The government seems to think it's best to teach children younger and younger about safe sex. Whilst I agree wholeheartedly that sex education should be taught, I think at a very young age it's enough just trying to get your head around the 'facts of life'. I was taught about contraception and so on at the age of thirteen and though this still seemed a little premature for me personally at the time, I think that is a suitable age.

I could also get into whose resonsibility it is to teach children about the emotional and physical aspects of sex. If I ever have children I would rather they received a more rounded education on the topic from me and my partner, instead of from some stranger at their school. Something about that makes me feel kind of uncomfortable, but I understand that not everyone would feel ok discussing those things.

The UK has a lot to learn from countries like Sweden and the Netherlands who have a much more healthy and open dialogue about sexual health. Young people need not be embarrassed to seek advice from healthworkers and their families - I think this is the only way that things are going to change.

hahah

nice that's d good stuff !!!! premature genius! ;;;;;0_o;;;;'

Well, the UK has age of

Well, the UK has age of consent laws too. At 12 and 14 they were BOTH underage, and while the older partner can be prosecuted, it does depend on the case... and in this case the police have apparently decided not to prosecute as it was not in either child's interests, and honestly, would it really change anything to prosecute? It is incredibly sad, and yes, the media fascination is because he looks young, but neither of them are ready to be parents.

So everyone feels terribly

So everyone feels terribly sorry for these kids and the supposed trouble that they've got themselves into, and are at the point of blaming society and the education system for failing them. Is that where we're at?

What about talking of the potential social welfare that could lighten the economic burden of teen pregnancy? What about talking about potential daycare that could allow both of these to finish school. Is it such a tragedy that two kids so young and apparently innocent were thrust upon early responsibility?

Who is to say that that 15 year old will make a worse mother than anybody else's, or that that 13 year old will make a worse father? And to think they will probably miss out on learning to binge drink, and write essays without a conscious thought in college.

What's my point you may ask? It's automatically assumed that this couple are victims and need sympathy. It's automatically assumed that when this happens there is something wrong with the system, it needs to be revised. How about tolerating and accepting these instances as they come and trying to live with them. Rather than decrying them as unnatural and trying to correct them.

Say what?

"How about tolerating and accepting these instances as they come and trying to live with them. Rather than decrying them as unnatural and trying to correct them."

Um. No.

I don't think we should. And to do so would be dangerous and to the detriment of society in general, and all specific people involved.

"Is it such a tragedy that two kids so young and apparently innocent were thrust upon early responsibility?"

Yes. For the kids, and the kids' kid.

Seriously, are you high?

Alfie&Chantelle 4 ever--on the dole

Regarding the birth of a baby girl to 13 and 15 yr.old Alfie & Chantelle, The "Sun" ,a UK newspaper, quoted a quite interesting comment from one Michaela Aston,a spokeswoman for LIFE, a UK anti-abortion Christian charity organization. Said Ms.Aston"We commend these teenagers for their courage in bringing their child into the world." Yes, the world really needs a 3rd generation welfare recepient! Alfie's father is unemployed,the family is on the "dole" (welfare in the UK) and lives in a council flat-public housing.Likewise for Chantelle's mother Nicola,who is divorced.Alfie said that his father gives him £10-USD $15 every few weeks. Therefore,newborn Maisie is a third-generation welfare case! God help her! Great advice from Anti-Abortion Orgs,as usual.

"Yes, the world really needs

"Yes, the world really needs a 3rd generation welfare recepient"

Nice. Remember 'choice'? It doesn't just apply to wealthy middle class women, you know. Choice means the choice to keep a pregnancy, as well as abort one. What you are basically advocating is that the girl should have had an abortion? Against her wishes? So what if the children's parents are on welfare - doesn't automatically mean that this baby will end up on welfare... and people on welfare/benefits are not worthless. Not every contribution to the world has to be measured in tax dollars.

no.

That's not what was said. *You* changed the topic to abortion. The OP did not say anything about abortion. How about, these kids obviously did not get the sex education they needed to prevent this from happening. And since they did not, here is the baby, born to parents neither emotionally nor financially equipped to deal with parenthood.

Baby Daddy

I just wonder if they have a boold test to see if Alfie Patten is the true Father of Chantelle's Baby.
Because what if Chantelle Steadman has been monopolize by an old man, that may be getting away from
being responsible.

Soooo sad!

That boy looks 8 years old-how sad! Yuck!
You can have all the age of consent laws you want-that doesn't mean kids are going to respect that. There is no substitute for parental supervision. My daughter is and her boyfriend are 15. I have a strong feeling that there is not proper supervision at his parents place (his older brother got his girlfriend pregnant), so I always have them spend time together at our home, when my husband or I are home to supervise.
I have taught both of my girls about (age approriate) sex and responsibilities from a young age, but teenagers can be impulsive and don't always use good judgement.
This is just another example of parents not wanting to waste a lot of their time supervising their children-I see that more and more with my daughters' friends. Wake up parents-this is the most important thing in your life-prioritize!

15

You shouldn't have to supervise a fifteen year old. At that age the kid is responsible for his or her own behavior. The parents do need to discuss proper behavior with them but high school is past time for them to be taking responsibility. I think people blame the parents and the system to much.

Well said...

...you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him wear a condom.

Parental Supervision only extends so far (however, in the case of a 13yo, WTF?!), kids will do things that are stupid. They're kids. Kind of what they do best some times. (Yes, I have kids...)

Preaching and teaching only go so far, at the end of the day it's all on the child to make the right decisions. When these two were in "the zone" I can almost guarantee you that one of them thought, however fleetingly, about contraceptive use, but decided not to "ruin" the moment.

Sometimes stupidity wins. Human nature.

Bristol Palin Interview

Speaking of teen pregnancy, abstinence education, and parenting young parents, the women at Slate's XX Factor have a discussion of Bristol Palin's recent Fox interview with Greta Van Susteren.

Reactions to Bristol Palin

____________
Kjerstin Johnson, editor-in-chief
Did someone say "Comments Policy"?

England needs to improve the

England needs to improve the sex education. It has the highest rate of teenage pregnancies in western Europe. I hope this baby isn't just a realistic toy for both of parents, and they don't wonder where the batteries go...
Wait... Just read this:
"The schoolboy Alfie Patten is not the father of Chantelle Stedman’s baby Maisie, a DNA test has revealed.
Alfie, who lives with his mother Nicola, 43, in Eastbourne, told The Sun - when he believed he was the father - he “thought it would be good to have a baby”

Its Stupid

Okay seriously if it were any other two kids who were older all the adults would have yelled and screamed saying the girl should have never opened her legs and that they shouldn't have been having sex at that age. So if you ask me these so called "POOR" kids need to grow up and deal with their new responsibility even though it will be hard but they should have thought about what they were doing before they did it. I know because I was 16 when i got pregnant and i know that i should have been careful or have not had sex at all. So it just goes to show that maybe that stupid saying "wrap it before you tap it" really should be obeyed. Or you should just not have sex at all but having a baby is not a curse its a blessing its just really hard at a young age.

Wow..

Okay.. Yes its wrong that their parents didn't sit them down and talk about sex with them, but who's to say that that 15 year old girl wont be able to provide for that child or even be a bad mother and that 13 year old boy is exactly the same I bet they are good parents.
So what there young! With support I bet that child will have all the love it needs.
People seem to think young parents are gonna be useless ones, its not true. People that have children at 16 can be as good as people that have children later on in life.. It doesn't matter how old you are it just depends on whether your physically and mentally ready for a child.