The father of a baby born to a 12-year-old girl in Perth, Australia is also believed to be a young teenager, with police saying they currently have no concerns for the welfare of any other children.
The girl was reportedly 11 when she became pregnant and reportedly gave birth at home unaware she was pregnant.
The father is reportedly 14 years old. Contrary to previous reports, the young girl did not give birth in a hospital but in her home, The West Australian reports.
“The department is unable to comment on situations like this in order to protect the privacy of the individuals and their families,” a spokesman said this morning.
A spokeswoman said police were working closely with the families, the Department of Communities and the Health Department said previously.
Despite both being of similarly young ages, the teens are at risk of prosecution with precedent showing the father is usually the one charged, according to Sally Dechow, a Youth Legal solicitor from Western Australia.
“Legally they could both be charged, but in practice, we’ve found it’s usually the boy who is charged,” she said.
“You have to look at the welfare of these kids and whether it’s in the public interest to prosecute children of this age.”
Charges occur at the discretion of the Western Australia Police, taking into account issues like whether the prosecution would be in the interest of the public, and provide assistance to the children involved.
“There are complex social issues, which are being managed by all agencies, and the current priority is to ensure appropriate support is provided to the family,” a spokeswoman for the DCHD said on Friday.
“The West Australia Police Force has identified a person believed to be the young father of the newborn, who himself is a child and is known to the young mother,” the Department said in a statement.
The Department of Communities said a co-ordinated response was required from the state government and external support agencies in cases like this, in both the short and long term.
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