13-year-old dad heralded as baby-faced symbol of “broken Britain”

Paternity tests, a PR guru: all about Alfie

England’s latest tabloid celebrity, 13-year-old new dad Alfie Patten, has become the poster boy for all that is broken about Britain—from bad parenting to soaring teen pregnancy rates—reports the Telegraph. Thrust into the spotlight by parents who’ve hired a big-league PR guru, Alfie stands, at his full 4 feet, “bewildered and exploited, at the centre of this immorality tale for our times,” alleges the paper in a scathing invective worthy of Trollope. What began as a deeply unfortunate, cautionary account of ill-advised adolescent fumbling  “has deepened into an extraordinarily dysfunctional quagmire of children taking paternity tests, parents sanctioning underage sleepovers in the same room, and family breakdown, all of it played out on Channel 4 and in the red-top newspapers—for a fee.”