A ten-year-old girl from Charleroi gave birth to a baby last year. The father was 13.
"The pregnancy was a big surprise to the girl and her mother," says doctor Robert Chef from Charleroi. "The child came to me with unexplained abdominal pain. She had also put on weight. Her mother had even put her on a diet for a while but that had little effect. When we examined her it turned out she was nine months pregnant. The child was carrying a full term baby."
What surprised the doctor the most was that the 10-year-old really looked her age. "Some girls look like a teenager of 15 or 16 at that age. But not this girl."
Still the delivery went smoothly. The young mother was given special treatment however. She was not admitted to the regular maternity ward lest this raise too many curious questions. She was given a bed in the childrens ward.
"The father of the baby came to visit her there as well. Many pregnancies in young girls are the result of incest. But that was not at all the case here. The father was a schoolmate of 13. A young guy as well."
Robert Chef says the parents of the girl did not respond angrily. "The grandmother immediately took charge of the baby. She said she would raise it as her own child."
Yesterday the medical weekly De Huisarts reported that 57 Belgian 10-year-olds had been prescribed a birth control pill last year. Some for medical reasons, but others for actual birth control.