The mother of a 10-year-old who gave birth to a child in Spain last week is surprised by the controversy the event has caused.  

The family, who moved to Spain three weeks ago, are Romanian Gypsies (Roma), whose custom allows girls to marry very young – even though it’s against Romanian law to wed before the age of 16.

“That’s the way we get married,” the new grandmother, known as Olimpia, told the press on Tuesday.

She also revealed that the father of the baby is a 13-year-old boy who still lives in Romania. The young parents are no longer seeing each other, however.  

The 10-year-old and her newborn daughter are both living with Olimpia while Spanish authorities are reviewing the case to decide whether the family is suitable to support and care for the baby.

They are also investigating whether the parents should be charged with negligence as the 10-year-old hasn’t been registered for school, nor seen by a doctor during the late stages of her pregnancy, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais.

However the 10-year-old’s family is shocked by the outrage: “This is a great joy. It is not a drama,” the grandmother is reported to have said.

“She’s doing well and is very happy with her daughter,” Olimpia continued.

Meanwhile, in Romania the story about the young mother didn’t get much attention, instead it was the outrage in Spain caused by the birth that made headlines.

– Inger Smith