Woman Became World's Youngest Grandmother At The Age Of 23

A Romanian woman who gave birth at the age of 12 holds the title of the world's youngest grandmother, having welcomed her first grandchild into the world at the age of just 23.

Rifca Stanescu gave birth to daughter Maria when she was just 12 years old, but despite warning her child not to follow the same path, she had a child of her own when she was only 11.

Credit: CEN
Credit: CEN

The young grandmother, from the village of Investi, Romania, told how she pleaded with her daughter to stay in school, but she fell pregnant with son Ion at an even younger age.

Rifca, who is now in her early 30s, told the Sun in 2011: "I am happy to be a grandmother but I wished something else for Maria - and something else for me.

"Ion is a good boy - and he is already engaged to a girl aged eight. Boys are always good to have - they don't have to suffer as much girls, I think."

Born in 1985, Rifca rebelled and went against her family's wishes for her by running away with jewellery seller Ionel Stanescu when they were 11 and 13 respectively. The two got married and soon after that Rifca fell pregnant.

She said: "I wanted to marry him, so I agreed, and of course after we had spent the night together then there was no way anyone could separate us. I had been promised to another boy's family since I was two years old but I didn't want that."

Credit: CEN
Credit: CEN

In Rifca's culture, women are married early to guarantee their virginity, thus ensuring a good dowry from the families of prospective husbands.

She added: "Before that there was a lot of fighting - once my father had even attacked my husband with a knife. He wanted him to pay 500,000 lei [currently the equivalent of £93,500 / $132,700] in compensation. My family even took me home but after three days I ran away again to be with him."

After Maria was born, Ionel's family paid Rifca's father a dowry and all was forgotten. But when Maria reached 11, she got married herself and within six months she had fallen pregnant with Ion.

Rifca added: "I did not try to stop my daughter getting married because this is the tradition, it's what happens."

The youngest grandparent in Britain was a 26-year-old from Rotherham, Yorkshire, whose 12-year-old daughter gave birth to a child in 1999.

Featured Image Credit: CEN

Paddy Maddison

Paddy Maddison is a freelance journalist and frequent contributor to LADbible. He specialises in men's lifestyle, music and news, which has seen him work with publications including ShortList, FashionBeans, Menswear Style and many industry-leading brands. Contact him at [email protected]

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