A boy who became a father aged 13 has provoked a fierce political debate over the high rate of teenage pregnancies in the UK.
The case of Baby
-faced Alfie Patten - who was aged just 12 when the Baby
was conceived - exemplified the "complete collapse" of parts of society, it has been claimed.
Conservative leader David Cameron said it showed a worrying trend of "children having children" that had to be stopped, while Children's Secretary Ed Balls said it was "an awful case".
The furore was sparked after Alfie and 15-year-old Chantelle Steadman brought Maisie Roxanne into the world at the Eastbourne District General Hospital, East Sussex.
The UK has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Western Europe, but figures show the number of conceptions among under-16s fell by 1,000 in 2006 to 7,826, compared to ten years earlier.
Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, who runs the Centre for Social Justice think tank, said the birth highlighted another case of "broken Britain" where "anything goes".
He said: "It's not being accusative, it's about pointing out the complete collapse in some parts of society of any sense of what's right and wrong.
"There is no opprobrium any more about behaviour and quite often children witness behaviour that's aggressive, violent, rude and sexual. It's as if no-one is saying this is wrong."
Prime Minister Gordon Brown did not comment directly on the case but said "all of us would want to avoid teenage pregnancies".
Mr Cameron said: "It is really worrying that in our country today you've got children having children.
"Obviously we all hope that these very, very young children will grow up and be good parents, but frankly parenthood isn't something that they should have been thinking about. That's what's gone wrong and we've got to put it right."
Mr Balls said: "It's just an awful case. It's unusual, it's very rare, but you look at that young lad being a dad when he is so young - and also the teenage girl - and you think it's not right, this looks so terrible. It has got to be sorted out.
"I want those kids to be safe and also the young child as well, and I want us to do everything we can as a society to make sure we keep teenage pregnancies coming down."
"I think like most parents, like most people, I saw that photo today and I was appalled. It's just not right."
Eastbourne Tory MP Nigel Waterson said the birth raised "huge" questions about sex education and the sexualisation of British society.
East Sussex County Council said the teenage parents would be supported with intensive monitoring and health visitor support THE ITN NEWS