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Mom in Spain happy that her 10-year-old daughter gave birth

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Baroness Emma Nicholson, demanded that a 12-year-old Roma girl and her 15-year-old common-law husband separate and cease all intimate relations until they were legally able to be married.

Well I am sure the Baroness will be quite pleased that this baby won't be anywhere near her own father. And some are already screaming to take the baby away from her own mother and grandmother. The situation is less than ideal, but show me a gypsy in a situation that isn't.

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"Families “marry off” daughters when they reach puberty, with the “husband” usually being a couple of years older. The marriages are not recognized by the state."

For a lot of women, being turned into home slaves and baby factories before they even finish elementary school might represent the equivalent of white slavery. Men, on the other hand, welcome and support this "tradition" because hey, that is the way it has always been done.

I guess everyone is shrugging and saying this is no big deal. I certainly would not want to live like that, and Spanish law seems about right. If you want to create a permanent underclass, having uneducated mothers and fathers with lots of kids is certainly a good start. Will this kid go to college? I would say that if dad is 31 when baby needs her first tuition check, they ain't gonna make it. But that is ok because mom will tutor him so he can get a grant or scholarship... but wait... she can't read anything beyond Dr. Seuss.

I say we just forget about it. After all, she is a girl. In ten years, they can marry her off and she will be someone else's problem. Mom is happy now, but she will be happier then.

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This is great. Going to be using this to bug my Romanian friends for a long time!

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71077345

Well I am sure the Baroness will be quite pleased that this baby won't be anywhere near her own father. And some are already screaming to take the baby away from her own mother and grandmother. The situation is less than ideal, but show me a gypsy in a situation that isn't.

Exactly. I don't see how punishing this young girl and her baby will solve anything here. She should be given support so that she can finish school, and hopefully be in a position to give her child a better life than she had. I don't like how this is being used to slam gypsies, as it does sound like her family is just trying to make the best of the situation--remember, her mother did say they marry young, not have babies out of wedlock young. This girl is an extreme outlier anyway, as most 10 year olds are not able to become pregnant. I grew up with an 11 year old who had a baby, and she was given support, kindness, and sympathy. I don't see why this child shouldn't be given the same. Poverty is ugly; if you don't like looking at it, perhaps you should think about doing something about it.

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Poor girl. I agree, she shouldn't be punished for this. She's going to need all the help and support she can get. But the thought of a 10 year old getting married at that age is horrifying enough-- to have a child... Agh. I know that's how they did things "back in the day" even, but it makes my stomach turn.

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sarahsuz25 at 09:30 AM JST - 4th November Exactly. I don't see how punishing this young girl and her baby will solve anything here.

+1

She should be given support so that she can finish school, and hopefully be in a position to give her child a better life than she had.

I think this is the key, not only for this girl, but for all Romanian children. Education really is the answer. In the past the nomadic Roma lifestyle was the key barrier, but with virtual classrooms and cellular and sattelite networks covering almost every inch of the planet I really don't see an excuse anymore for these kids not to be in at least a virtual classroom every day.

I don't like how this is being used to slam gypsies, as it does sound like her family is just trying to make the best of the situation

Honestly? The gypsies need a smack upside the head if this is a widespread practice. Just because they're a minority who are often persecuted doesn't exempt them from legitimate criticism on solid grounds. If this girl gave birth at 10 then she was having sex from at least 9 years old. That's ridiculously young. It's illegal in Romania, the entire EU and every other country I can think of. If this is a common Roma practice then I don't see it as in any way discriminatory or unfair to voice an opinion telling them to cut it out and get their act together.

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As some people have already stated, punishing this 10-year-old girl and the baby's 13-year-old father would do any good to anybody. The mother of the girl should know (if she doesn't) that her 10-year-old girl giving birth COULD HAVE killed her and the baby and her body isn't mature enough to have a baby yet. Getting married young isn't necessarily bad, but how young is young? In my book, even 16-year-olds are too young to get married and have kids even with the parents' approval. Educate children!! That's the only solution I guess.. Just because it has always been like that, it doesn't mean it is the right thing.

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I don't like how this is being used to slam gypsies, as it does sound like her family is just trying to make the best of the situation--remember, her mother did say they marry young, not have babies out of wedlock young.

It would make absolutely no difference to the immorality of this situation if the 10 year old mother and 13 year old father were married. It would still be illegal and, more importantly, extremely detrimental to the child and the wider culture. As another poster wrote above, the Roma are not exempted from legitimate criticism. And a cultural practice whereby children are not encouraged to remain in education but instead to marry and have babies is absolutely legitimately criticized. Simply because something is a cultural practice does not mean it is ipso facto beyond questioning. The Roma are holding themselves back by perpetuating this practice and wider society should not be afraid to articulate that.

This girl is an extreme outlier anyway, as most 10 year olds are not able to become pregnant.

Again, completely irrelevant. The issue is whether or not a child should be in a sexual relationship, NOT whether or not that relationship will lead to pregnancy. And as an aside, she is not an "extreme outlier". Many girls begin menstruating at 9 or 10 years old.

I find it extremely sad that people do not call this (condoning sexual relationships for children) what it is: uncivilized.

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I don't think anyone is suggesting the girl should be punished, are they? She needs help, lots of it. Help to get an education, help to raise the child or to have it adopted/fostered if she can't cope (How can she possibly cope??) Hopefully not with scenes of one crying child being snatched from the arms of another, but let's consider the needs of the new baby as well as the 10-year-old mother. She also needs lots of help if she's not going to end up like her Mum, and leaving her with Grandma is obviously not the answer.

If the grandparents are 'delighted' with this situation, they need a major smack upside the head and shaking till their teeth rattle. If they were ignorant of what the girl was getting up to at 9 years of age, they should be prosecuted for child neglect. If they did know and did nothing about it or encouraged it, they should be prosecuted for child abuse. Same goes for the grandparents on the father's side.

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10 year old daughter and baby can share diapers. This is a sad story.

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This is great. Going to be using this to bug my Romanian friends for a long time!

Sadly this is common for all gypsies, or Roma, who live not only in Romania but all over Europe. It is common for them to marry very young. I am very surprised that this became news because this is theor custom.

Actually roma women are an example of perseverance. They start bearing kids at the age of 10 and continue well into their 40s and 50s. The problem with the gypsies is that they do not follow the state law. Usually they marry their girls for money. There are even marriage markets where the marriage price is negotiated between the parents of the groom and the bride.

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The Roma are holding themselves back by perpetuating this practice and wider society should not be afraid to articulate that.

Oh don't worry, wider society has been letting the Roma know what they think of them for centuries. In fact it is the treatment of the Roma by the wider society that creates this kind of situation. Again, I think if you have a problem with poverty and ignorance, you should combat those things, not the people who have been forced to live with them.

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In fact it is the treatment of the Roma by the wider society that creates this kind of situation.

Can you please explain how wider society led to the pregnancy of a 9 or 10 year old Roma child? I am not being argumentative - I am genuinely and sincerely extremely interested to hear your views on how the treatment of wider society has "created" an acceptance among Roma of child marriage (which is a centuries old custom of theirs).

I disagree that the only reason the Roma are poor and ignorant is because of wider society. I think their own behaviour and mindset is a contributing factor to that, and this terrible story is an example of why.

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And removing her from her family would amount to punishing her--look up how Roma children are treated in Romanian orphanages (which is where she would probably be sent; also look up laws that other EU nations are drafting to keep, or kick, the Roma out of their countries.) At least her mother wants to care for her. The best solution for both children would be to do something for the family as a whole.

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It's their culture and it's their culture which needs to change. 2-3 centuries ago and most societies allowed this kind of child-marriage (but then societies were agrarian or even pastoral). They have progressed and gotten past that. Why can't the Roma accept that theirs is a custom which has outlived its usefulness and has become a severe detriment to their population. This part of their culture severely stunts and wastes their potential. Theirs is an anachronistic society --a living history with dire consequences for its modern constituents.

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I think their own behaviour and mindset is a contributing factor to that, and this terrible story is an example of why.

I think that centuries of slavery and persecution, having a quarter of their population wiped out by Hitler and the resulting loss of social order and stability, and the current laws and prejudices that keep them from all but the lowest rungs of society have done a lot to shape their behavior and mindset. If you want to change their behavior and mindset, you'll just have to stop persecuting them.

Child marriage was an adaptive practice in the past, when people didn't live long, and when it was prudent to have as many children as possible. This started to be maladaptive for most of the Western world a century ago, but for the Roma it's more like in the last generation or two. Like many traditional cultures, they revered their elders as the teachers and guardians of social mores. After the Holocaust, there were no elders left, and they were dragged kicking and screaming into the 20th century, with their social order in tatters. I'm not surprised that this mother supports her daughter, since this probably mirrors the mother's own life. If you want to change this, you'll have to start with the mother.

Extremely young pregnancies happen in all countries and cultures. I had a classmate in 5th grade elementary school that had a baby. She was a friend of mine, and her mother was devastated. But her mother stood by her, protected her, and raised the children together. As any mother should. The only reason this has become international news is the ethnicity of the people involved.

And instead of being used as an opportunity to better the situation of these people to prevent such incidents in the future, through education, job training and other anti-poverty measures, etc.; it's being used to beat them over the head.

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If you want to change their behavior and mindset, you'll just have to stop persecuting them.

So they are unable to change their marrying practices because they are persecuted? I still do not see how this actually comes about? The Jewish people were persecuted in Europe prior to and during WWII and yet they have nowhere near the level of social deprivation of the Roma. Simply citing past persecution does not explain the status quo. If it did, the Jewish people would live in uminaginable squalor and backwardness. But they don't. So it must be a great deal more complicated than that!!

The only reason this has become international news is the ethnicity of the people involved.

That is untrue and a blatant refusal to see Roma as anything other than total victims. Have you heard of Alfie Patten and his girlfriend? Or Tressa Middleton? They are both white British children whose stories of young sexual relationships made international headlines.

The difference is that a pregnant 12 year old girl from mainstream Western society is considered an aberration, and her family condoning it would equally be considered an aberration. In Roma society, very sadly, a marriage involving an educated woman over 25 years of age would be an aberration. Discussing this reality is not "beating them over the head". It's simply stating the truth. It is impossible to address a situation properly without telling it like it is.

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She was a friend of mine, and her mother was devastated.

Hardly the same as the present case then, where the mother is 'delighted'.

I don't care about the ethnicity of the people involved. I think it's likely the fact that the baby was born in Spain is one reason for it becoming international news - Spain is not particularly well known for adolescent pregnancies. In a sense the girl has already been 'punished' by the very fact of being in the situation she is in, and whatever is done to help her will involve some further form of 'punishment' - either she will be punished by having the child taken away from her while she gets an education, or she will be punished by losing out on education while she struggles to care for the baby, or she will be punished by being left in the care of the parents whose neglect/ignorance led to this sad situation in the first place, or she will be punished by being removed from her parents. All in all, a lose-lose situation for the poor girl and her baby. (Since she's in Spain, I think there's very little danger of her and the baby being dumped in a Romanian orphanage.)

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The Jewish people were persecuted in Europe prior to and during WWII and yet they have nowhere near the level of social deprivation of the Roma. Simply citing past persecution does not explain the status quo. If it did, the Jewish people would live in uminaginable squalor and backwardness. But they don't. So it must be a great deal more complicated than that!!

It's simple really; look at what has happened to both groups since the war. I'll give you a hint: the status of one hasn't changed in any measurable way.

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I'll give you a hint: the status of one hasn't changed in any measurable way.

The Romanian government is making great efforts to integrate the Roma with the rest of the population and they have guaranteed representation in parliament. Yes, governments must make amends for past mistreatment of the Roma, but that does not mean pussyfooting around the detrimental practices Roma inflict on themselves. And there can be few greater than denying their children education and encouraging child marriage.

m5c32 said it best:

This part of their culture severely stunts and wastes their potential. Theirs is an anachronistic society --a living history with dire consequences for its modern constituents.

The Roma have to help themselves too. And perpetual victimhood is not the way to do it.

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Here is a bit of personal contact with eastern European Roma ( very different from those in the UK ) I used to work in NA in a job that necessitated that I go to many different homes of many different people and the ones that stand out the most were those of Roma immigrants, now bare in mind that my country has little or no history of Roma and make no difference between a Roma Romanians of a non Roma Romanians, but what always struck me and my coworkers was the fact that in the middle of the day there were only women and female children and I mean a lot on women and female children and that despite the laws on education requires that children attend school until they are 17 these girls are not in school and when the social worker go by to try and enforce the law the Roma either switch residence with other Roma or send the girls to live with other relatives for some time.

There is no discrimination towards the Roma in my country because most there have no idea what a Roma is and they are no longer nomadic in their life style but they chose to cut themselves off from the rest and especially their female children.

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in the middle of the day there were only women and female children and I mean a lot on women and female children and that despite the laws on education requires that children attend school until they are 17 these girls are not in school and when the social worker go by to try and enforce the law the Roma either switch residence with other Roma or send the girls to live with other relatives for some time.

Less than 7% of Roma people graduate from high school... Education is the key, I believe.

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This is really bad, this news is even people in Mexico and other parts of Latin America surprised, and this old bag is overwhelmed with joy, that her 10 year old little girl has not only gotten knocked up a 13 year who has already escaped back to Romania and now they will be there in Spain, doing what Gypsies know how to do best, steal.

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So many of you are just so, I don't know, "starry-eyed" seems like a good word. You act like if this little Roma girl got an education she is going to be the next Einstein, or CEO of a multi-national conglomerate. Please. You also act like most women would rather be working. Oh, I know that those who want to work are mad dog fierce about it, but that does not change the fact that most (not all, but most) would just love to have a husband and father of their children making enough money that they could stay home with their children all day.

This one is getting an early start, and no husband, but don't act like you know for sure its going to ruin her life. She is Roma. By your standards, her life was ruined at conception! The article says she is happy with her baby. Its probably about all she has got and ever will, and your high falluting ideals will most likely only make things worse for her at this stage.

I don't have the details, but I wager there are at least 3 things I would want to change about her life before this. Did you read about her father? Me neither. Having him around would be a good start. Money would be next. Then a house. I could on and on. Not having a baby at ten would also be nice, but if you think that alone would make her life look like something out of "Leave it to Beaver", then you must be more starry eyed than I thought.

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You act like if this little Roma girl got an education she is going to be the next Einstein, or CEO of a multi-national conglomerate.

Completely wrong.

What most people feel is that a gradual accumulation of education by the Roma populace as a whole will ultimately better the entire community through its being able to provide its own living requirements, healthcare, administration, education, sanitation, infrastructure, and respect for the women (and men) of the community to make their own informed choices about how to live their lives.

Children cannot make informed choices about marriage or reproduction. Educating women delays child bearing - this is borne out across all cultures and countries and lifts the living standards of all societies.

Nobody is saying that this child could be the next Naoko Yamazaki or Condoleeza Rice or Angela Merkel had she not become pregnant at 10. What most people hope for is that she would however receive enough education, along with her peers, to contribute to a gradual change in the living standards of Roma people. It has to start somewhere.

Sneering at the desire for education will not help. Nor will it help to say that she is happy and that's okay. She is 10! With a baby!

If even one Roma child delays her childbearing long enough to finish her education, that is something positive. But it won't happen if people shrug at the status quo.

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It is interesting to watch Libs fight over another "anchor baby". The only truth i can see is that this baby is better off with its' mother than with the Government (CPS etc).

People will always argue over whose culture is superior, but these arguements typically lack logic. You should always show your work.

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Wow this mother is a real winner, the girl never stood a chance.

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