(Rose Colombo, long-time Consumer Advocate for Justice, award-winning author and poet and radio host, former columnist for local newspaper)

Between 2000 and 2015, over 200,000 minors were legally married in the United States. The vast majority of child marriages were between a child and an adult. The majority of married children were girls. In the United States, marriage age laws are set by the various states, territories and federal district. (wikipedia and Forbes)

StateCommon Law MarriageAge of consent to marry
Age with parental consent
Massachusetts- Title III, Chapter 207NoMale-14 k Female-12 k
Michigan- Chapter 551No16
Minnesota- Chapter 517No16 k

“Sibling marriage and avunculate marriage is prohibited, while cousin marriage is legal. Marriage between parents and offspring is also prohibited, even when there is no blood relationship, i.e. adoptive parent or parent-in-law.” (Forbes)

“Earlier this year, Delaware and New Jersey became the first states to outlaw marriage for anyone under the age of 18, with no exceptions” (Forbes-UNICEF)

“Missouri is a destination wedding spot for 15-year-old child brides”“A review of some 50,000 marriage licenses shows how Missouri’s lax law has for years turned the state into a destination wedding spot for 15-year-old child brides, often rushing to get married,” the Star reported. (Forbes)

“25 states have no minimum age requirement for marriage”

“The risks are just as real for child marriages in the U.S. as they are in developing countries. For the sake of protecting children from abuse and protecting their futures, every single U.S. state must take legislative steps to ban child marriage. ” (Forbes)

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