Baby-faced boy Alfie Patten is father at 13
The Sun, UK, By LUCY HAGAN, Published: 13 Feb 2009
BOY dad Alfie Patten yesterday admitted he does not know how much nappies cost — but said: “I think it’s a lot.”
Baby-faced Alfie, who is 13 but looks more like eight, became a father four days ago when his girlfriend Chantelle Steadman gave birth to 7lb 3oz Maisie Roxanne.
He told how he and Chantelle, 15, decided against an abortion after discovering she was pregnant.
The shy lad, whose voice has not yet broken, said: “I thought it would be good to have a baby.
“I didn’t think about how we would afford it. I don’t really get pocket money. My dad sometimes gives me £10.”
Alfie, who is just 4ft tall, added: “When my mum found out, I thought I was going to get in trouble. We wanted to have the baby but were worried how people would react.
“I didn’t know what it would be like to be a dad. I will be good, though, and care for it.”
Alfie's story, broken exclusively by The Sun today has sparked a huge political storm with Tory leader David Cameron saying: "When I saw these pictures this morning, I just thought how worrying that in Britain today children are having children.
"I hope that somehow these children grow up into responsible parents but the truth is parenthood is just not something they should be thinking about right now."
PM Gordon Brown refused to comment directly on the story but said it was important that the Government did all it could to prevent teenage pregnancies.
Alfie’s dad Dennis yesterday told how the lad does not really understand the enormity of his situation — but seemed desperate to be a devoted and responsible father.
He wanted to be the first to hold Maisie after the hospital birth. He tenderly kisses the baby and gives her a bottle.
And Dennis, 45, said: “He could have shrugged his shoulders and sat at home on his Playstation. But he has been at the hospital every day.”
Maisie was conceived after Chantelle and Alfie — just 12 at the time — had a single night of unprotected sex.
They found out about the baby when Chantelle was 12 weeks pregnant.
But they kept it a secret until six weeks later when Chantelle’s mum Penny, 38, became suspicious about her weight gain and confronted her.
After that Alfie’s family told only those closest to them for fear he would be “demonised” at school.
Chantelle gave birth to Maisie on Monday night after a five-hour labour at Eastbourne Hospital, East Sussex.
Last night she told The Sun: “I’m tired after the birth. I was nervous after going into labour but otherwise I was quite excited.”
Chantelle told how she discovered she was expecting after going to her GP with “really bad” stomach pains. She said: “Me and Alfie went. The doctor asked me whether we had sex. I said yes and he said I should do a pregnancy test. He did the test and said I was pregnant. I started crying and didn’t know what to do.
“He said I should tell my mum but I was too scared.
“We didn’t think we would need help from our parents. You don’t really think about that when you find out you are pregnant. You just think your parents will kill you.”
But Penny figured out what was going on after buying Chantelle a T-shirt which revealed her swelling tum.
Chantelle admitted she and Alfie — who are both being supported by their parents — would be accused of being grossly irresponsible. She said: “We know we made a mistake but I wouldn’t change it now. We will be good loving parents.
“I have started a church course and I am going to do work experience helping other young mums.
“I’ll be a great mum and Alfie will be a great dad.”
Chantelle and Maisie were released from hospital yesterday. They are living with Penny, Chantelle’s jobless dad Steve, 43, and her five brothers in a rented council house in Eastbourne. The family live on benefits. Alfie, who lives on an estate across town with mum Nicola, 43, spends most of his time at the Steadmans’ house.
He is allowed to stay overnight and even has a school uniform there so he can go straight to his classes in the morning.
Alfie’s dad, who is separated from Nicola, believes the lad is scared deep down.
He said: “Everyone is telling him things and it’s going round in his head. It hasn’t really dawned on him. He hasn’t got a clue of what the baby means and can’t explain how he feels. All he knows is mum and dad will help.
“When you mention money his eyes look away. And she is reliant on her mum and dad. It’s crazy. They have no idea what lies ahead.”
Dennis, who works for a vehicle recovery firm, described Alfie as “a typical 13-year-old boy”.
He said: “He loves computer games, boxing and Manchester United.” Dennis, who has fathered nine kids, told how he was “gobsmacked” when he discovered Alfie was to be a dad, too.
He said: “When I spoke to him he started crying. He said it was the first time he’d had sex, that he didn’t know what he was doing and of the complications that could come.
“I will talk to him again and it will be the birds and the bees talk. Some may say it’s too late but he needs to understand so there is not another baby.”
Chantelle’s mum said: “I told her it was lovely to have the baby but I wish it was in different circumstances. We have five children already so it’s a big financial responsibility. But we are a family and will pull together and get through.
“She’s my daughter. I love her and she will want for nothing.”
Last night Michaela Aston, of the anti-abortion Christian charity LIFE, said: “We commend these teenagers for their courage in bringing their child into the world.
“At the same time this is symptomatic of the over-sexualisation of our youngsters and shows the policy of value-free sex education just isn’t working.”
Today Sussex Police and the local council's children services said they have investigated the case and pledged continued support for the young parents.
Britain’s youngest known father is Sean Stewart. He became a dad at 12 when the girl next door, 15-year-old Emma Webster, gave birth in Sharnbrook, Bedford, in 1998. They split six months later.
©THE SUN 2009