• Mon, Feb 10 - 3:30 pm ET

Parents In Germany Fined For Something I Never Want To Think Of My Kids Doing

HS1978-001Parents in Bavaria have been fined 3,000 euro for allowing their 13-year-old daughter to have sex with her 16-year-old boyfriend. I’m all sorts of hand-wringy about these types of situations because I still haven’t fully accepted that I will be parenting TWO teenagers some day.

The girl went to her parents and admitted she was planning on having sex with her boyfriend. The parents insist they tried to talk her out of it – but failed. They decided the best bet was to get her on birth control. The mother claims she was unaware that sex under the age of 14 is considered a criminal offense, “You can’t stop hormones,” she said.

A spokeswoman for the local prosecutor’s office said they had never come across a similar case.

“They [the parents] were only prosecuted because they knew what their daughter was doing and it was brought to our attention,” she told The Local. “We had no choice but to prosecute once we knew.”

The Passauer Neue Presse reported that the case only came to light when the boyfriend appeared in court over a separate matter.

This is tough. My knee-jerk reaction is grounding my daughter for her remaining adolescent years. Eve says she would get her therapy because Eve smarter than me and a better parent. Our boss Meghan would never leave them alone with each other, and Bethany says “open door policy,” so clearly Bethany is going to be the “cool mom.”

I think it is really naive to think that you can stop a headstrong teenager from doing anything, but I may treat it like one of those driver’s ed classes you take in high school; you know – the one that takes you to jail and then to the morgue? But instead I would make her watch marathons of 16 and Pregnant and carry one of those WerePups around with her everywhere she goes. I’m making light of this to keep from crying, because I find all the decisions that teenagers have to face and navigate truly terrifying. How did any of us make it through?

As far as fining these parents goes – I got nothing. I’m too busy worrying about how I’m going to deal with this to judge the way someone else did.

(photo: Getty Images)

You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
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  • MegzWray

    I’m behind Bethany. We all know kids are going to have sex. Kuddos to this teenager for having the relationship with her mother that allowed her to talk to her about it ahead of time!!! Seriously. My mom just accused me from the time I first had a boyfriend until I was in college about being “copulating earth-worms” (???) and what that was going to lead to. Maybe it worked…I graduated HS a virgin. But I don’t have a close relationship with my mom to this day because of that. My daughter is 3 and I want to have an open relationship with her when it comes to sex talk. As much Pepto-Bismal as I need to drink in order to handle it. She’ll be a nun, right????

  • Elisianna

    I have no idea how to deal with teens having sex cause as I grew up in an extremely strict religion, all of my friends in high school were virgins, and I didn’t lose my virginity until I lost my faith at 21.

    So yeah, the idea terrifies me… Cause in my teens I had about zero interest in having sex anyway. At 13 I was obsessed with Sailor Moon and still played with Barbie’s…

  • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

    13? Nope nope nope nope nope nope

  • candyvines

    Allowing your child to have sex and getting them birth control are not the same thing. I can’t believe these people were fined for teaching their daughter about safe sex.

    • Mystik Spiral

      That was my thought exactly…

    • Kay_Sue

      Two entirely different things. I totally agree.

  • Kay_Sue

    I think the important part to focus on is this: “How did any of us make it through?” In that question, you’re acknowledging that we all did make it through (which we did). None of us are going to be perfect at parenting teenagers, anymore than we were perfect at parenting newborns, infants, toddlers, small children, larger children, semi-larger children, other sized children, and tweens, but we’ll all make it through somehow.

    • Maria Guido

      Very good point!

  • TwentiSomething Mom

    Would they still have been fined if she had gotten pregnant?

  • Robotic Arms Dealer

    Any word on what happened to the 16 yr old boy?

  • Unhappy Gilmore

    You’re by far the worst “author” on Mommyish. You failed to mention your black son in this blog though, Maria, what the hell?

    • candyvines

      Rude.

    • Maria Guido

      I see the wi-fi connection is working in your mother’s basement again. Good for you!

    • Unhappy Gilmore

      Oh the wit! No, really, you look more and more ridiculous with every article you run.

    • Abbe

      And that matters because??

    • Unhappy Gilmore

      Ask her why it matters, she mentions it any chance she can.

  • Psych Student

    I actually applaud the behavior of the parents. I’d prefer kids wait until 15 or 16 and certainly avoid having penetrative sex until later on, but I plan to follow the lead of parents in the Netherlands and encourage my kids to have sex in my home with the condoms I provide for them and starting with some mutual masturbation and such for as long as they want.

    • blh

      Hmm well that’s one way to make sure they stay virgins. “Hey kids why don’t you go in your room and enjoy some mutual masturbation!”. If my mom ever said anything like that to me I’d still be a virgin to this day.

    • Psych Student

      Hehehe. Foolproof! The actual plan was to spend tons of time talking with kids growing up. But hey yelling – “Are you kids having sex yet?!” “Make sure you pleasure the girl – she’s important!” “There’s no such thing as too much foreplay!” “Don’t push anyone past their boundaries, you have you whole lives for sex!” could be the worlds best birth control. :)

  • Bethany Ramos

    Yay, cool mom!! Also yes for 16 and Pregnant on repeat. Ugh. Sex as teens is 100% left to my husband for our two boys. I am scared!

  • Alex

    I don’t really see what the parents did wrong (besides NOT being familiar with applicable age of consent laws). They didn’t “allow” their 13-year old to have sex with her boyfriend (“why don’t you invite him over, we’ll be gone for the weekend anyway”), but they did ensure that she would be on birth control if she decided to do so despite their efforts to persuade her otherwise. Which is rather responsible parenting, isn’t it?

    I don’t necessarily agree that “you can’t stop hormones”, but you do also have to be reasonable about your (perceived) ability to control your (especially teenaged) child’s behavior.

    • Jessica

      I don’t know the specifics of the consent laws in my state, or the state I grew up in :/ I do think it sounds like the parents did the best they could in that situation. Maybe knowing the laws could have been more helpful in their initial conversations though.

      Getting her on birth control would involve a trip to the doctor, right? I would have thought a doctor might have been more familiar with the legalities since they are mandated reporters. But I’m projecting the way things are done in the US to culture I know very little about.

    • Alex

      That’s disappointing, as one of the key parts of the sex education classes I got in middle school and high school was a section on legal matters as they relate to age of consent laws (close-in-age, positions of authority, felony/misdemeanor, etc…).

      And even if the doctor was more familiar with the legalities, just because she was getting birth control pills doesn’t mean that the doctor knew that she was planning on having sex at 13.

    • Jessica

      I didn’t mean to imply that it was the doctors responsibility to lecture on the laws pertaining to consent. I’d be hesitant to assign blame anywhere. It’s ridiculous that the parents were fined. They provided their daughter with the best information they had & were proactive about keeping her safe.

  • Rachel Sea

    Sounds like everyone just got punished for trying to do the right thing. Pity they didn’t know the very act was criminal, the teens might have waited.

  • tk88

    They said they tried to talk her out of it, and only got birth control when that was clear it wasn’t working. Like the mother says, you can’t stop hormones. I think it’s wrong for kids that young to have sex, but after a certain point you can’t control every little thing. I don’t like how they’re trying to make it sound like the parents set up a romantic little room for their daughter and her boyfriend and sent them inside with a wink. Also, there’s a difference between trying to be a “cool mom” and realizing that your efforts to prevent your child from behaving a certain way isn’t foolproof. Even if they banned their daughter from seeing him there’s no guarantee they wouldn’t see each other at school and have intimate rendezvous in secret. After age 11-13 kids can go off and do things on their own without you knowing. I’m sure these parents realized they’d rather give their daughter birth control than become grandparents.

  • gothicgaelicgirl

    Yeah…see my mother was like this.
    As I’ve said before, my mother handed me condoms in my early teens and said- “I’d rather you had them and didn’t need them, than not have them and need them. Because despite what people say, you WILL NOT be able to stop once you get going, you’re horny and hormonal, you’re not going to WANT to stop.”

    She also had the “Condom Fairy”, she would regularly check my tin beside my bed which stored my condoms and if it was running low she would skip into my room and throw a handful at me, singing “Condom Fairy says be safe and have fun!”

    At least she was open about it lol, I was never careless, I was always safe.

  • Lackadaisical

    13 year old having sex with a 16 year old boyfriend is bad but I do understand that some … OK many … teenagers won’t stay virginal just because you tell them to. If you have a child (and at 13 definitely a child) who you know will indulge in adult hanky panky no matter what you do then making sure the hanky and the panky are safe seems to me to be the act of a good parent. Yes, it is easy to say that a 13 year old who has sex despite her parents protestations is caused by their parenting, but remembering my own friends as a teenager I am not sure that is true. I think teenage rebellion could happen to any parent and if it does you have to look at damage limitation on the things you can’t stop. I want to live in a happy bubble where my kids will wait for age of consent for both them and their partner, but if one of my kids becomes sexually active too early I will definitely make sure they have contraceptives as well as making sure they feel they can talk to me about it without being afraid of me.

  • CrazyFor Kate

    Eve seems pretty cool, so I hope she was joking about the therapy thing – or you were joking, or whatever. Thirteen is not a good age to have sex, but it is a perfectly normal age to want sex. We’re programmed that way. So a major boo on the therapy thing.

    As for the parents, well, it sounds like they did all they could. The government needs to STFU on this one.

  • Surfaces

    The thing is, they probably realised that they would most likely do it whether they spoke to their parents or not, and at least they did the responsible thing and got her birth control rather than her ending up pregnant. I’m not saying it’s right for a 13 year old to have sex but let’s face it, they’ll find some way to do it if they want to regardless of age! I’ve known girls younger than 13 who have been on the pill because of heavy and painful periods so I don’t see any problem with her having it at that age.

    I count my mums attitude to me having sex as one of the reasons I’m the only person in my family to not have children, while my sisters had theirs ridiculously young. I was allowed my boyfriend in my room, door closed, he was allowed to stay overnight and when I turned 16 I put myself on the pill. Because my mum trusted me to be safe, I didn’t want to betray that trust by getting pregnant so I did everything I could to not!

  • practicallyperfectineveryway

    13???? I’m pretty sure when I was 13 I still had my American Girl dolls in my room.