Saturday, May 13, 2006

Mother & Child - Addendum.

Let Me Keep My Baby: Pregnant 12-Year-Old

A young girl of 12 is about to have a baby. Social Services are concerned and have explained that she may not be able to leave hospital with the baby. It would appear from the report that this is not because they are concerned over her ability, but it is because she shares a house with her mother and five brothers and sisters and they feel it is too small. Alongside of this the house does not meet their requirements decoratively. Yes, apparently it needs re-decorating.

Now maybe I am missing something and of course we only have this particular journalists slant on this story, but there are a couple of issues that concern me here.

There is already a single mother with six children living in this house. One of which is about to become Britains youngest mother. I would be more concerned about the parenting abilities in this home rather than the decor. By that I mean my concern lies with a mother who is raising six children on her own, clearly it's a struggle, but obviously not so much that she is willing to turn her back on her daughter and grandchild. Given that this young mother so desperately wants to keep her baby, yes I appreciate that she is barely past the playing with dolls stage, and her mother is willing to take it on as well, then why aren't social services providing support to this family. Instead of worrying about the size of the house and the decor, what about finding a suitable alternative or trying to remedy the immediate situation. What about parenting skills training and support in this area.

I am sure that there will be others out there with a different view, but I just feel that in this day and age it is wrong to take a baby from a home where although not perfect by any means has people who want to take care of it and love it.

"The news that the youngster is to become the UK's youngest mum sparked outrage yesterday from the Catholic Church."

Who the hell keeps asking the 'Catholic Church' to comment on everything. Shut up, grow up and start acting like you belong in the 21st Century rather than wittering on and condemning everything in your path. Try using some of that compassion you're always spouting we should have, by we read mere mortals, and maybe even a bit of that cash mountain you have stashed to help them out. Outrage does not solve this problem. Access to birth control and better understanding of social issues within certain communities does.

Yes I am advocating giving access to birth control to underage young people, this of course already happens, but they have to know how to access it. No I am not advocating in any way shape or form that underage sex is a good idea or ok, however I have been on this planet long enough to understand that there are no simple remedies to this situation. This is not just a problem of the twentieth or twenty first centuries, it is as perenial as the seasons. Better sex education has had no effect, withdrawing sex education to the younger age range only compounded the situation. Perhaps 'moral' education is the way to go, I honestly don't know and my concern with 'moral' education is precisely whose morals will be the standard and how far would it go. I don't have all of the answers to this one, no-one person does, but it is such a difficult subject to raise and discuss rationally without emotions and morals clouding the issue.

Sorry my sincere apologies to any mere mortals of the Catholic persuasion, my argument is not with you, I just feel the fat men in dresses living in their Italian ivory tower are wasting everyone's oxygen and my time.

The old halo has definitely taken a fall this time.


Addendum: Wednesday 17th May

There are a couple of other points however that I should now make and avail you with the reported 'facts'.
1. The girl's mother is a heroin addict.
2. The girl has cut down her smoking from 30 roll ups a day to 20. She started at age nine.
3. She got pregnant as as the result of a one night stand whilst drunk. She said 'it was my first time, I didn't know you could get pregnant the first time'. Famous last words, how many times have we heard this.

4. The 'father' aged fifteen years, is reportedly being charged with statutory rape. The law has changed here. Men can be charged for rape if a woman is considered too drunk to know what she is doing, even if she says yes to sex!!
5. The family live in a very small council flat.

What is your view now?

19 at confession:

Rhonda said...

Bravo, St. Jude!

I don't at all disagree with your take on the situation.

Kate said...

I totally agree. The fat men in Rome live an elitist lifestyle that is far removed from the real world, and therefore have no right to tell real people how to behave.

As for social services, I agree again. Why can't they help this family out? Surely that is better than splitting them up. I know the situation is less than ideal, but the fact this baby is loved should count for something.

Attila The Mom said...

Just brilliant! I agree with every word!

Charlie said...

Social services, unfortunately, seldom gets it right: procedures to follow, you know.

And in practice, both Catholics and parish priests are quietly ignoring the fat men in Rome, as Kate puts it.

Happy Mother's Day, Jude, whether or not it is just an American observance.

joss said...

I do agree St Jude to everything you said on this issue. As a former children and families Social worker I have to say Policy dictates what will happen to the child and baby. It is not policy to split up families if it can at all be avoided. However there are times where circumstances need to be looked at laterally, out side the box type way.
The child and to be born babies interest come first. The whole case will be looked at to maintain the family.Multi agency options such as housing could be asked to move the family to a larger house to accommodate them all. Work would be undertaken with the child and mother on parenting issues etc..
However, Risk assessment will be rigorous and it is that report that will decide the action needed. If the child is considered to be at risk, such factors being the likelihood of the child repeating her actions and falling pregnant again then measures need to be put in place to circumvent that.
I could go on but suffice to say worst case scenario is the child could be placed under sect 31 children's act which means the local authority becomes the child's corporate parents and attain full parental rights. Even if that happened it does not mean the child would be placed in care such as fostering. All options are open.

Cherrypie said...

I'm with you, St.J. No doubt the girl and her family will be the subject of future reality TV programmes and enjoy some notoriety for a brief time. I wonder whether Berlei ( my first was a 28AA at 12) will have to start making nursing training bras?

mrsmogul said...

I haven;t heard of thiS! Maybe I'm too reading Hello! online...

Listen she'll get benefits for life and free housing. etc...

But twelve is really young..that's really sick!

Meg said...

You go, St. Jude.

Sophia said...

This is something I have such a struggle with. Nature usually knows what it's doing. But why does Nature allow us to be mothers at the age of 12 (and sometimes younger)? Is this some cruel test? Why does it take so long for one to think one is "ready" to have a child, but by the time that comes the body is often too old? Is it that we're never supposed to be "ready", but rather just manage as best we can what life brings us?

frankengirl said...

"I just feel the fat men in dresses living in their Italian ivory tower are wasting everyone's oxygen and my time."

Ha! Ivory tower - how perfect.

Social Services is usually underfunded (at least here in America) - and common sense and humanity is too often abandoned for impersonal procedure.

Great post.

Beki said...

I read an interview with the girl and it is enough to make your heart sink to new depths. She says she only slept with the lad when she was 11 because she was drunk but she has cut her smoking down to 20 roll up ciggies a day whilst pregnant *shudder*

Dr Joseph McCrumble said...

Who asks the church, you ask. The media of course. It's a tough choice deciding which one deserves the most scorn.

The Poodle's Friend said...

Who the hell keeps asking the 'Catholic Church' to comment on everything. Shut up, grow up and start acting like you belong in the 21st Century rather than wittering on and condemning everything in your path.
Thank you for that. I couldn't agree more.

Jay said...

I'm not really sure this little girl is ready to be a mother. I am definitely worried about the welfare of the new baby - but who has its best interests at heart? Everyone else seems to have skewed priorities.

Nikki said...

St. Jude, I have waited for some time to comment on this peice.

My mind was warring between her age and how I wanted to bash her mother for not teaching her better then realizing it's not mom's fault necessarily. We teach them as best as we can and hope it's enough.

I would like to share a story with you.

I was in 9th grade (High School Freshman) and a casual friend of mine sat beside me in biology class.

One day I heard she had died giving birth to her daughter in her bedroom. She was 14. I had no idea she was pregnant and we had physical contact just by sitting so close to each other. I HAD NO IDEA.

She was to terrified to tell her mother or anyone else and never went to the doctor. She had pregnancy induced hypertension (high blood pressure)and after the birth, while still bleeding profusely, cut the umbilical cord, swaddled her and kisses her (her lipstick was found on the baby's head) and she died holding her.

Her mother came home to the sound of a screaming baby that she never knew existed laying in the arms of her dead daughter on the floor, in blood.

No one knew what Kristen was going to name the baby, or even if she had picked out anything. Her mother named the baby Faith and raised her.

Kristen was buried with a picture of her baby.

I tell this to make a point. No matter the relationship between mother and daughter, she was still comfortable enough going to the Doctor and/or telling mom. And to mom's credit, she has antied up.

They should leave them alone. Family isn't all about living in a big house or having nice things.

Nikki said...

OMG. Here I was, laboring under the delusion that the girl came from a loving home and made a mistake.

Her mother is a heroin addict?!

She was drunk?!

The father is 15!

Maybe I'm just dumb or naive or whatever, but this is killing me.

Before I started blogging, I would have said to put the baby up for adoption, but after reading several adoption blogs, I am no longer certain what to think of it. It has it's advantages but I don't know if it's the solution, but it's definately something that should be thought about CAREFULLY.

I'm very concerned for that baby.

The girl is wanting to keep her and I agree that we should not disreguard maternal feelings, no matter what the age, but at the same time, what sort of life will this baby have when that girl will have to lean heavily on her mother for help, and her mother obviously isn't helping her own children.

As you suggested, maybe a little moral counciling would help. But to me, this girl's lifestyle is to far gone (thrust upon her by her own mother) for it to have to much of an impact, if any at all. Only rare individuals have managed to pull themselves out and away from environments like this - who's to say if she's one of them, especially at such a young age.

I wish I had the answer.

Face said...

Ah! It makes me cry.

Anonymous said...

I too would be concerned for the baby. The grandmother can't look after the children she has never mind look after her grandchild. Look at what has already happened her 12 year old because of her neglect! I shudder to think of the life of neglect the poor infant would endure.

Oh and to clarify no. 4 in the Addendum - statutory rape is when a man (or boy, his age doesn't count) has sex with an underage girl.

Yorksdevil said...

Anonymous - not quite, statutory rape is when you have sex with somebody under the age of 13.

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