Concern over young girls getting pregnant by older men


Pregnant woman

There are worries too many girls are being pressured into having a baby by older men.

It's as figures show for the first time just how many under-18s have got pregnant by older partners in England and Wales.

Newsbeat asked the Office for National Statistics to break down statistics on birth registrations in 2008.

It found 78% of under-18s who registered the birth had an older partner. 10% of that figure were over the age of 25.

He wouldn't let me go back to work... so we ended up living off Jobseekers' Allowance
Emma, single mum

Emma, who's now 23, got pregnant when she was 17. Her boyfriend at the time was 26.

She says: "I was in college when I met my ex-partner.

"He didn't want me to go back to do my second year, so I worked up to two months before having my daughter.

"After I gave birth, he wouldn't let me go back to work and he also refused to work, so we ended up living off Jobseekers' Allowance."

"I feel he took advantage of my naivety and the fact I was young. I ended up being a single parent."

'More help needed'

Teenage pregnancy charities are concerned about the number of girls getting pregnant by older men.

The group Straight Talking want a national service to help young pregnant women get advice and counselling.

About 40,000 girls under-18s get pregnant every year in the UK - the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Western Europe.

The old Labour government failed in its 10-year plan to halve teenage pregnancies in England and Wales.

At the moment the coalition government has no new strategy, but is expected to announce plans next month.

This BBC Two show Revealed has made a special programme about teenage parents which goes out on 18 September at 1430 (BST).

Presenters Adina Campbell and Jonathan Blake have looked into some of the problems teenage dads face and why many young parents get a bad name.

Seventeen-year-old Karl Wiltshire-Bridon from Croydon, South London is about to become a dad for the first time next month.

He argues against the negative stereotype of young dads.

"Just because I'm young doesn't mean I'm going to be a bad parent," says Karl.

"I'm willing to put in the hard work for my own flesh and blood. I'm going to give it 120% and do the best for my child."