A 12-year-old girl has given birth in Perth.
A 12-year-old girl has given birth in Perth.

Gov may put girl, 12, on sex offender list for having child

The 12-year-old who gave birth to a baby and the young boy who is the father could be charged over the case.

A Youth Legal Service WA solicitor said the ramifications of being charged and convicted would include being registered as a child sex offender.

Youth Legal Service WA solicitor Sally Dechow said the baby's conception was illegal even if both the mother and father were under 16 and willing participants because the law stated that they could not consent.

"Legally they could both be charged, but in practice we've found it's usually the boy who is charged," she said.

"You have to look at the welfare of these kids and whether it's in the public interest to prosecute children of this age."

Police have the discretion not to prosecute and will take into account issues including whether it would be in the public interest and what supervision and support the children have available.

The objectives of youth justice are also to keep children out of the court system where possible.

Perth authorities confirmed yesterday they were investigating a case of a girl who gave birth in a WA hospital after having become pregnant when she was only 11 years old.  

A spokeswoman said police were working closely with the families of the young parents, the Department of Communities and the Health Department, AAP reported.  

"There are complex social issues, which are being managed by all agencies, and the current priority is to ensure appropriate support is provided to the family," the spokeswoman said.

"The West Australia Police Force has identified a person believed to be the young father of the newborn, who himself is a child and is known to the young mother."

Authorities in Perth have confirmed a 12-year-old girl has given birth at a hospital.

Multiple government departments are working together to investigate the case, including WA Police, WA Health and the state's Department for Communities and Child Protective Services.

The Department said it has concerns about revealing the identity of the child and her parents when contacted by news.com.au and wasn't able to give individual details about the case.

Because of this, little is known about the girl's pregnancy.

According to reports the girl fell pregnant when she was only 11 years old.

"Police are aware of the incident and are working closely with the families involved and the department of communities," a spokesman for the WA Police told news.com.au

The concerned agencies have not revealed anything about the father. The legal age of consent in WA is 16.

Jackie Tang, of the Department of Communities, would not comment specifically on the case to protect the young girl's identity, but told news.com.au it did work closely with multiple agencies when a young mother gave birth.

"If there are concerns that a child may have been sexually abused or is likely to be sexually abused, Communities undertakes a thorough assessment of the situation," a statement from the agency read.

"A co-ordinated response is required from a range of State Government and external support agencies both in the short and long term in order to make a lasting difference to the wellbeing of all affected parties," she said.

"The Department of Communities, the WA Police and Department of Health work together intensively in the best interests of all concerned."

WA Health Department statistics show that since 1980, there have been 12 registered births to girls aged 12, the youngest registered age of a birth mother in WA.

In 2017 there were three registered births to girls aged 13 or younger, seven registered births to 14-years-olds and 21 registered births to 15-year-olds.

Every year dozens of girls aged 16 years-old give birth in Western Australia.

Teenage pregnancy puts young women at risk for health, economic, social and financial issues.

A study by Susan Mayor, Pregnancy and childbirth are leading causes of death in teenage girls in developing countries, showed women younger than 15 are often not physically developed enough to sustain a healthy pregnancy or give birth.