Trigger: Some of these stories contain details of child sexual abuse
We can all agree that being mums is a pretty amazing thing. But for many young women, girls even, they became mothers much earlier than most would deem appropriate.
Little girls should not be worrying about a growing belly, especially before they are even teenagers. These are some of the world’s youngest mothers, all under the age of 13 when they welcomed their children.
12 years old: Tressa Middleton
Tressa Middleton was 12 years old when she gave birth to her daughter, Toni. The young mum was raised in a troubled home by a mother with addiction issues. Toni was removed from her care and adopted two years after while Tressa spiralled into depression and drug use.
She kept the baby’s father’s identity a secret for two years before telling authorities the truth – that her older brother, Jason, had raped her.
Jason went to prison in 2009 and Tressa has since moved on. She’s welcomed two more girls into her world with partner, Darren Young. She’s spoken out about the heartbreak of not being able to raise her first daughter and see her three girls grow up together and has co-authored a book about her experience.
5 years old: Lina Medina
You may have heard stories of a five-year-old giving birth and brushed it off as fake news. It’s actually true. Her name is Lina Medina and she was just five years old when she gave birth to a son, Gerardo via c-section. This happened back in the 1930s and made headlines all over the world.
Gerardo grew up thinking Lina was his sister until he learned the truth at aged 10. To this day, Lina has not revealed who Gerardo’s father was. She simply may not know. After all, she wasn’t even five years of age when conception happened.
How does this even happen? Lina most likely went through precocious puberty when hormone glands are activated earlier than normal. Her parents thought she had a tumour when her belly started to grow but soon discovered the truth.
Lina is 88 years old now, still alive, and married with another son. Sadly Gerardo passed in 1979 aged 40 from bone marrow disease. Lina continues to refuse to discuss the details of her pregnancy.
11 years old: Kordeza Zhelyazkova
Kordeza Zhelyazkova was just 11 when she gave birth to her daughter, Violeta, during her own wedding. She met her future husband on a playground in Bulgaria – the 19-year-old young man named Jeliazko stood up for her when she was being harassed by a group of bullies.
Kordeza and Jeliazko started to date although Kordeza told her future husband that she was 15. Once she found out she was pregnant, the families prepared a wedding to welcome the infant. On the second day of her wedding party, she went into early labour and gave birth to her daughter, still in her wedding gown.
“I’m not going to play with toys anymore – I have a new toy now,” Kordeza said.
It is unknown where Kordeza is now. She gave birth in 2009 so Violeta would be a teen herself now.
12 years old: Kathleen Moss
You may recall when baby faced Kathleen made headlines back in 1998 for giving birth to daughter, Georgia at the age of 12. She explained to media how she had sex with a 14-year-old family friend while on holiday at a caravan park because they were “bored”. Kathleen recalls how she was terrified when she first found out and ignored it for a few months, hoping it would just go away.
When Georgia was 12 and Kathleen was 25, she resurfaced, explaining how Georgia is enjoying school and how she chooses to keep a low profile out of respect for her daughter. Georgia would now be nearly 25 herself.
13 years old: Charlotte Maddox
Another British girl who unexpectedly gave birth was Charlotte Moss. She assumed she had a tummy bug but she was in fact, in labour. She had no idea she was pregnant until she felt the need to ‘push’. The father was a 15-year-old who she met at a care home she was staying at during the time.
She said in an interview that the father wasn’t the nicest boy and she didn’t want him involved. Since her daughter Sophie’s birth in 2006, she has remained out of the spotlight.
11 years old: Name unknown
In June 2021, an 11-year-old became known as Britain’s youngest mum after giving birth at the age of 11. She became pregnant at the age of 10. There are very few details about the father but the family has spoken out, admitting they did not know she was pregnant.
Social services were brought in to investigate but little is known about what happened to the girl, the baby or the father.
12 years old: Name unknown
Another story that made headlines around Australia when a 12-year-old girl presented at a Perth hospital in labour in 2019. She didn’t know she was pregnant and gave birth to a healthy infant. The father was also of a young age – allegedly 14-years-old.
WA Health Department statistics show In 2017 there were three registered births to girls aged 13 or younger, seven registered births to 14-years-olds and 21 registered births to 15-year-olds.
There are hundreds of mothers giving birth before they are teenagers. In Western Australia ALONE, statistics show that since 1980, there have been 12 registered births to girls aged 12, the youngest registered age of a birth mother in WA.
Remember, this is just one state in one country. The legal age of consent in Australia is 16 (or 17) depending on the state.
World’s youngest mothers on record
There are several other young mothers who have reportedly given birth before they turned 11. However, in most cases, their names or the details behind the births are not public.
- The youngest mother in the world is reportedly Lina Medina, as mentioned above. She was five years and seven months.
- There are also two recorded cases of young girls having babies at 6 years of age, one from India and one from Ukraine. Both occurred in the 1930s.
- An 8-year-old-girl gave birth to a healthy baby boy, fathered by a nine-year-old in China. They are the youngest recorded parents, in combined age.
- There are also several recorded cases of 8 and 9-year-old girls having babies. Many took place well before 1950 and most involved rape. This is also the case for the dozens of young girls around the world recorded to have given birth at the age of 10.
- In most instances, the details surrounding the conception and birth are unknown and we can only hope they’ve received the support they needed when faced with such a big responsibility at such a young age.