A nine-year-old schoolgirl has become one of the world’s youngest mothers after giving birth to a 2.75kg boy in northeast China.
Feb. 2, 2010
The baby was delivered by Caesarean section at a hospital in Changchun, in Jilin province, when the girl was eight-and-a-half months pregnant.
Despite her youth, and the potential for complications during the delivery, it has been reported that the mother and child are in good health.
The City Evening News in China reports that the girl’s parents have sought legal advice and have complained to the police.
Under Chinese law, sex with a girl who is under 14 carries an automatic rape conviction.
Another report, from a Shanghai hospital, said 30% of surgical abortions were carried out on school pupils.
According to Britain’s Daily Mail, the youngest mother is believed to be five-year-old Lina Medina, of Peru, who gave birth to a son named Gerardo by Caesarean section in 1939.
Her father was arrested on suspicion of sexual abuse but was released because of lack of evidence.
In 1957, a Peruvian girl, aged nine, gave birth to a girl weighing 2.7kg.
In 2006 an eight-year-old, also from Peru, gave birth to a 1.9kg child.
According to the Daily Mail, several girls aged nine, from Thailand, Singapore, Rwanda and Brazil, have also given birth.
In Britain, girls as young as 10 or 11 have increasingly been reported as becoming mothers.
Though menstruation usually starts at the age of 12, some experts believe that rising obesity rates, particularly in the West, are causing girls to reach puberty younger.
According to the newspaper, research at the University of Bristol suggests that one girl in six reaches puberty before the age of eight – about 18 months earlier than their mothers.