Feeding, nappies... and PlayStation: The 13-year-old boy who has become a father

Alfie Patten, from Eastbourne, East Sussex, is the father of 7lb 3oz Maisie... and he's just 13-years-old.

The baby's mother is 15-year-old Chantelle Steadman.

The couple take time off playing on the PlayStation to change their baby's nappies.

Britain still has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe, despite teenage pregnancies being at their lowest in 20 years.

Britain's teenage pregnancy rate is also the second-highest in the world behind the US, with an average of 40.4 conceptions per 1,000 girls aged between 15 and 17.

Feeding, nappies... and PlayStation

PS3 ... new dad Alfie Patten, 13, and mum Chantelle Steadman, 15, with baby Maisie and PlayStation
Lee Thompson

Published: 14 Feb 2009
The Sun

INNOCENT-eyed Alfie Patten spent his first night acting as a 13-year-old dad and declared: “It was easier than I thought.”

The four-footer — who looks no more than eight — said: “I know I’m young, but I plan to be a good dad.”

As he went on the PlayStation with 15-year-old girlfriend Chantelle Steadman, he added: “I think we’ll be good parents. I’ll have to work extra hard at school.”

Chantelle looked up from 18-rated action game Saints Row II to admit her first night out of hospital since having 7lb 3oz daughter Maisie had been tough and had left her “in a daze”.

Story that rocked Britain ... our front page

But she went on: “Alfie has been really good with her.

“He made the first bottle and then we took it in turns feeding her. He did the first bit with me.

“We didn’t need any help from Mum. I didn’t really get back to sleep. I just lay there in a daze.”

She added: “It feels better to be at home than it does in hospital. I prefer it now I am at home and it is just us and our family.”

Both Chantelle and Alfie change four-day-old daughter Maisie’s nappy and the baby sleeps in her mum’s bedroom in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

Parents ... Alfie and Chantelle with Maisie
Lee Thompson

It is a typical teenage bolthole — packed tight with cuddly toys including a giant pink teddy. A school gymnastics certificate is proudly displayed on the wall.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse hold hands, surrounded by lovehearts, on the headboard of her bed — where Maisie was conceived when Alfie was just 12 and Chantelle 14.

Their story, revealed by The Sun yesterday, rocked Britain.

Even Prime Minister Gordon Brown spoke out, commenting: “I think all of us would want to avoid teenage pregnancies.”

But Chantelle insisted: “When I was pregnant the police and social workers came to interview us and they decided that we would make good parents to Maisie.

“Now we will prove to everyone that we can be, and give her a great future. When Alfie is 16 he can come and live here with me and my family.

“We don’t want to get a flat because we wouldn’t have enough money and I want us both to stay in school to make the best future for Maisie.”


The pair’s parents have been singled out for criticism. Both knew Alfie and Chantelle were “dating” but said they did NOT know the relationship was sexual.

Alfie lives with mum Nicola, 43, in a £395,000 detached home in nearby Hailsham.

A cheeky message in the window reads: “I am horny.”

Neighbour John Holmes, 90, said: “I have always found them very nice, but I know a lot of neighbours have complained about her noisy parties.”

Nicola is separated from Alfie’s dad Dennis, a 45-year-old father of ten, including three stepkids.

He said: “How were we to know what they were up to? To us they were just kids — we’re as shocked as everyone else.”

Family ... new mum Chantelle with baby Maisie and her own mother Penny
Lee Thompson

He said the child couple hid the pregnancy for six weeks and added: “I feel that the doctor that told them she was pregnant should have told an adult.”

Chantelle lives with mum Penny, 38, dad Steve, 43, and her five brothers in a council house.

The family survive on benefits. But Penny explained: “Steve is a fisherman and work is sparse.

“I need to be at home to look after Maisie and my other children so that Chantelle can go to school in April and take her GCSEs. What’s important now is Chantelle’s career and her family and that this mistake does not mean she cannot have the same dreams as any other 15-year-old.”

'Horny' joke sign ... Alfie's mother Nicola
Lee Thompson

Penny also dismissed a neighbour’s allegations that she had let THREE other boys stay overnight with Chantelle.

Sean Thomas, 20, claimed: “She is not a young innocent girl who got pregnant with the first boy who came along.”

Furious Penny hit back: “It’s rubbish. Chantelle lost her virginity to Alfie.”

Chantelle gave birth to 7lb 3oz Maisie in Eastbourne Hospital on Monday.

Social Services in Eastbourne admitted to “concerns” over the case but vowed to give “all their support”, including intensive monitoring. Police said they had investigated but had decided to take no further action as it was “not in anyone’s interests” to prosecute.

Julie Vine, 37, whose daughter goes to Cavendish School with Chantelle, said: “I feel sorry for them both. It’s not the school’s fault, it’s a very good school.”

A family friend said Alfie had been thrilled when he learned he was going to be a dad.

Becky Holmes, 19, said: “He is a lovely little boy.

“When he found out his girlfriend was pregnant he paid my baby girl so much attention.

“I was pretty shocked but he’s a natural with babies, even though he still looks like one himself.

“He’s so tiny, he doesn’t even look his age. But he says he’s ready for it.” Another family friend, 28-year-old David Lee, said: “I am really shocked. I didn’t know anything about it. I was only round there two weeks ago playing Xbox games with him.

“He didn’t say anything. You would think being a few days away from being a dad he might have mentioned it.”

Children’s Secretary Ed Balls said: “You look at that young lad being a dad when he is so young — and also the teenage girl — and you think it’s not right, this looks so terrible.

“Our first reaction has got to be to make sure that the young lad, the teenage mum and the baby get all the support they need.

“And it’s also vital that we do everything we can to make sure that these kind of teenage pregnancies don’t happen in the future.”

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, who runs the Centre for Social Justice think tank, said: “It exemplifies the point we have been making about Broken Britain.

“It’s not being accusative, it’s about pointing out the complete collapse in some parts of society of any sense of what’s right and wrong.”

Local MP Nigel Waterson said: “This is a very sad story which will have a huge impact on both the parents and the child.

“I’m very pleased that the families are being supportive, but this of course raises huge questions about sex education, and also about the sexualisation of our society.”

Fears for teen rate

TEEN pregnancies are at their lowest rate in 20 years, but it’s still the highest in Europe.

We average 40.4 conceptions per 1,000 girls aged between 15 and 17 — the second highest in the world behind the US.

Latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show a 13 per cent drop between 1998 and 2006.

Yet data obtained by the Tories reveals a 2.7 per cent rise in the last year.

Ministers aim to halve the teen conception rate by the end of next year by spending £27million on family planning.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson wants to give GPs bonuses for encouraging girls to have contraceptive jabs and implants.

Babies of teen mothers have a 60 per cent higher risk of infant mortality. They are more likely to have a low birth weight, which may affect their long- term health.

And teenage mothers are three times more likely to suffer from post-natal depression.

Last edited by Blackleaf; Feb 15th, 2009 at 12:58 PM..
L Gilbert
And here I was thinking humans had evolved. Wrong again. We are still twisted as are our societies.
I saw on the news another boy is claiming he may be the father...
OMG...it's too late to turn back the clock so faced with what challenges them, they will need lots of support to get on with life in general. I sure hope they make it and are carefully guided until it is decided that they have what it takes to parent independently. It's such a large responsibility in every aspect to care for a child. So young and naive but sounds like they are up to the challenge. When someone is told that they can't do something, it gives them more of a challenge to prove them wrong. I hope others don't think that if they do it, I can do it. It's not going to be an easy task. Sure hope the number of teenage pregnancies doesn't shoot up even further.
Too bad that they lose out on their adolescence.
It sounds like the parent(s) were not exactly good role models. However, that can just be the media skewing things around like they are wont to do.

Heck, when I was 12, girls still had cooties for crying out loud! Too young to be having sex, that is for sure.
Scott Free
Yeah but now they aren't girls they're bitches and the boys are dawgs.
There is a couple more problems. It appears that the young father has some competition.

globeandmail.com: 13-year-old's fatherhood challenge

Thirteen-year-old Alfie Patten still insists he's the father, but, in a case that is rocking Britain, two other teenagers yesterday challenged his paternity, saying they had slept with 15-year-old Chantelle Steadman and may have fathered her baby.
After five hours in labour, Chantelle gave birth to seven-pound, three-ounce Maisie Roxanne last Monday. She had been on birth control pills, but reportedly had missed taking one.
But yesterday, Richard Goodsell, a 16-year-old trainee chef, alleged that he had sex at least three times with Chantelle. "Only a DNA test is going to sort this out properly," he said. "If I am the father, I have the right to know. I know I could be the father. My friends all tell me that baby has my eyes - even my mum thinks so."
A second youth, 14-year-old Tyler Barker, also thinks he may have fathered Maisie. "I slept with Chantelle in her bed about nine months ago," he said, "and I'm really worried I could be the father. I hope it's not me. All my mates have been teasing me about it, but this isn't funny, it's serious."

Quote has been trimmed
Chantelle, how could you do this to me....

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