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February 25, 2009

Chantelle Steadman and Alfie Patten – 15 year old mom and 13 year old father of baby Maisie: Shocking news takes a shocking turn

I’ve made an important decision in my life: I’m going to just stop assuming, altogether, that I’ve heard everything. That way, whenever something jaw-dropping happens, I won’t be shocked or totally appalled. In the case of Alfie Patten, our 13-year-old baby daddy in England, every time I think I’ve heard it all, I find out new information and my shock begins all over again.

A few days ago, two more boys, aged 14 and 15, have now come forward claiming paternity. They too claim they had unprotected “sleepovers” at Chantelle’s house, and that there is a good chance one of them could be the dad instead. There are now rumours of as many as 6 potential donors, besides Alfie; Chantelle has now been “outed” as the Skank of the Year, and poor baby Maisie has to suffer the consequences.

This isn’t the limit of the weirdness though; there have always been easy girls and stupid boys, this is nothing new. The new, jaw-dropping part is that Chantelle’s parents are supposed to be the ones who orchestrated this whole affair, pinning paternity on 13-year-old Alfie in order to rake in some money. I’ll give you a moment to read that last part again, your own jaw dropping I’m sure.

At this point, the story goes as follows: Upon finding out their 15-year-old daughter was pregnant, they concocted a plot to ease the financial burden by creating a large, lucrative scandal. Unsure of the actual paternity of Chantelle’s baby, they named Alfie Patten the father, knowing how the world would react, and knowing it would garner them some serious cash.

A paternity test is pending; no results have been released yet, so we will have to wait and see. If it comes out that Alfie is the father, then we can all go back to being shocked about the original issue: a 13-year-old boy fathering a baby. However, if it comes out that Alfie is not the father, then there will be a lot more issues to discuss. To start with, if Alfie is not the father, it will make the claims about Chantelle’s parents a little more credible.

If the accusation facing Chantelle’s parents turns out to be true, what should the next course of action be? On the one hand, common sense says the parents ought to be punished; what they’ve done has got to be some kind of child abuse, right? Chantelle is a minor, which makes her parents legally responsible for her, which means their actions as authority figures were inappropriate. However, if Chantelle’s parents were sent to prison, or at least had their parental rights over Chantelle revoked, then Chantelle would be a 15-year-old single mother with no family to help her. It’s a lose-lose situation.

We see this time and time again, although this time the specifics are different. Parents whore their children out for different reasons all the time. Beauty pageants, child stars, gifted kids…the list goes on and on. Parents use their children to gain their own fame (Lindsay Lohan’s father!) or to add to their cash flow. Shouldn’t we be holding parents to a higher standard? I almost feel sorry for Chantelle, if all this is true: her mom and dad are quite the parental role models for her. Heaven help poor Maisie, with a family like this.

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