Remember the 10-year-old who gave birth in Spain and made us all cluck our tongues and shake our heads? It's starting to make sense.
Her old neighbors from Bucharest say she isn't 10 after all. They say she's actually 13 or 15 -- depending on which neighbor account you go by.
Oh, yeah, that makes it all better. She didn't hit puberty early! She hit it at the old-fashioned time and got pregnant immediately. You just grabbed for your baby and held on tight, didn't you? Just wait.
The reactions to the child giving birth to a child were mixed last week in part because the girl hailed from Romania originally, where cultural differences were being used to explain why the girl's mother was reportedly happy to be a grandmother. But this news actually puts a new twist to the story.
The mom, identified only as Olimpia, was reported to be 30 years old last week. If her age still holds, and her daughter is indeed 15, that means she was a teenage mother herself.
That turns this family from a headline-grabbing horror story into a statistical probability. According to a study of teen pregnancies (albeit here in America), girls born to teenage mothers are 22 percent more likely to become teen mothers themselves.
It is cold, it is callous, but America needs to stop looking at how awful this pregnancy is for the teen mother who suddenly has to give up college dreams and cheerleading at the high school football game. We need to focus on what happens to these babies.
The MTV shows 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom are popular in part because we're all rubbernecking at the trainwreck that comes of babies trying to handle babies. Look beyond that. Besides the probability that her daughter will end up pregnant, try these scary facts on for size:
- The sons of young teen mothers are nearly three times more likely to be incarcerated than those born to adult mothers.
- Children of adolescent mothers are more likely to drop out of high school when compared to the children of mothers age 20-21. Only 77% of children born to adolescent mothers complete high school by early adulthood compared to 89% of the comparison group.
- A study of children ages 4 to 14 showed that those born to the youngest teen mothers performed more poorly on tests of cognitive ability, were more likely to be retained a grade, and were less likely to be perceived by their teachers as performing favorably by the time they reached high school.
If this girl were born to a teen mother, she didn't have a fighting chance.
Does this story begin to make a bit more sense?
Image via daquella manera/Flickr