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13-year-old father to take DNA test

Baby-faced "father" Alfie Patten today pledged to take a DNA test after two other boys claimed they had also slept with baby Maisie's teenage mother.

Chantelle Steadman, 15, said 13-year-old Alfie is the father of her one-week-old baby daughter.

The news that such a young boy had fathered a baby prompted a fierce political debate over the high rate of teenage pregnancies in the UK and the sexualisation of children.

But yesterday Richard Goodsell, 16, and Tyler Barker, 14, told the News of the World they had slept with Chantelle at about the time she became pregnant and claimed she also had several other sexual partners.

Alfie today said he would take a DNA test as soon as possible to establish whether he is Maisie's father.

His spokesman Max Clifford said: "They are planning to do a DNA test.

"Alfie believed he was the father but due to reports in the News of the World at the weekend, he wants to make sure by having a DNA test as soon as possible."

Alfie, who lives with his mother Nicola in Hailsham, East Sussex, was just 12 when baby Maisie was conceived but said after her birth that he would stand by and support Chantelle with the baby.

Maisie is believed to be living with Chantelle and the teenager's parents Penny and Steve at their home in Eastbourne.

East Sussex County Council said Chantelle, Alfie and Maisie had received "a package of support".

In a statement released by the council today, Matt Dunkley, the council's director of children's services, said: "We would not normally publicly discuss individual case information and it must be remembered there are three vulnerable young people involved in this case, all of whom are entitled to protection and to have these matters dealt with confidentially.

"However, given the exceptional circumstances of this case, we do understand the need for reassurance.

"It is completely wrong to suggest social workers are doing nothing to support the families and young people involved in this case.

"In cases like this it is normal practice to assess the needs of the parents and the unborn child before the birth and to revisit those assessments once the child has been born to look at what further support might be needed.

"In this case a package of support was agreed before the birth including enhanced involvement from health visitors and family outreach workers."

Mr Dunkley added that social workers and health visitors were due to visit both families again to carry out further detailed assessments of the three children.

"These will further examine issues such as the parenting of Maisie and the support from the wider family, the education of these young parents, and other issues, including the impact of the huge amount of public interest there has been in this situation on both families," he said.

"For each of the young people concerned we will provide the necessary support identified and will continue to monitor the situation closely."