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Page last updated at 14:22 GMT, Monday, 16 February 2009
13-year-old father to have DNA test

By Catherine Burns
Newsbeat reporter in Hailsham, near Eastbourne

The Sun newspaper
Alfie's story has been front page news in many newspapers

Alfie Patten, 13, has said he's going to have a DNA test to prove he is a father.

His girlfriend, 15-year-old Chantelle Steadman, gave birth to a girl last week. Now it looks like the couple could make big money selling their story.

Alfie Patten's family have a big house on a quiet leafy street. You can tell a mile off that children live here.

There are footballs floating in the pond, and piles of dirty trainers and rollerskates outside the front door.

It looks as if someone is inside - you can see the TV flickering in the kitchen. No-one is answering the door though.

Alfie says he's convinced that he is baby Maisie's dad and that he'll stand by his girlfriend.

But the 13-year-old is also going to take a DNA test to be 100% sure.


Hailsham's high street is about a mile up the road, and everywhere you go people seem to be talking about this story.

Some locals are sitting in a coffee shop, swapping theories about Alfie and his girlfriend.

And it's the same on the shopping precinct.

Thirteen-year-old Elijah says he knows Chantelle and feels sorry for her: "They need to live their lives. They're not going to live their lives now they've got a baby."

His mum Helen agrees: "13 and 15-year-olds shouldn't be doing that sort of thing."

But Sarah's out with her daughter and thinks people shouldn't overreact: "It doesn't really worry me to be honest. They're together and that's the main thing. Maybe they'll stay together."

Under age sex

Social services deny claims that they haven't done anything to help.

They say they've been visiting both families to check how they, and baby Maisie, are doing.

Sixteen-year-old Chloe lives nearby and says there's a lot of underage sex going on in the area.

"It happens, and no-one's ever going to be able to stop it. But he's only 13, and they're not going to be able to bring in any money for at least five years, until he's qualified to do anything."

TV programmes and newspapers are already lining up to get Alfie's story.

His family has signed PR guru Max Clifford to help them and some media experts think they could make up to 500,000.

Chloe thinks that's sending out the wrong message.

"If they do make loads of money out of it, then other people are going to think, 'I'll have a baby, I'll go to the press about it, I'll get lots of money, and that's how I'll make my living.'"

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