At just 23 years old, Rifca Stanescu from Romania now has the title of the world’s youngest grandmother. Rifca was only 12 years old when she gave birth to her first child, Maria. Rifca had hoped her daughter would not to follow her example, but at the age of 11 Maria was pregnant and gave birth to a son, Ion. Rifca, is reported to have said 'I am happy to be a grandmother but I wished something else for Maria.”
A 23 year old grandmother is not only extreme, but it also can be unhealthy. According to medical experts pregnant adolescents have a higher risk of getting high blood pressure than pregnant women in their 20s or 30s. They also have a higher risk of preeclampsia (a dangerous medical condition that combines high blood pressure with excess protein in the urine, swelling of a mother's hands and face, and organ damage). There is also an increased risk in premature birth, likely due to an underdeveloped uterus, and low infant birth weights.
Though this is an extreme case, many parents can relate to not wanting their children to make the same mistakes as they did as an adolescent. Rifca had attempted to persuade her daughter into a different life, but it appears Maria fell back on the example, not the warning. Despite her not wanting the same life for her daugher, Rifca admits, "I did not try to stop my daughter getting married because this is the tradition, it's what happens.”
In gypsy culture it is not uncommon for girls to marry at a very young age. In this situation Rifca felt she did everything in her power to prevent her daughter from living the same type of lifestyle, but it wasn’t to be.
Is it unreasonable to expect Maria to have done anything different to what she knew and had learned from her mother?