by Vannessa Banuelos
The laws in California for minimum marrying age is nonexistent. Teenagers can marry with parental consent and a court order in California. Some other states like New York have allowed children as young as fourteen to marry with parental approval as well. This law is rather odd considering that a lot of states require people to be eighteen before they can get married. According to a survey of marriage licenses by Unchained At Last, at least 167,000 children under 18 were married in the U.S. between 2000 and 2010. A good portion of these children were in California. The fact that minors can marry in California is not acceptable. California should stricken these laws and make the legal age to get married eighteen
Mostly, young girls are forced into marriages by their parents for religious or cultural traditions.
This usually has happened for generations, it is tradition. Once women is seen as a woman, they are ready for the next step, marriage. Many will not receive support from their families if they refuse. Whether it is for money, guilt, or religious reasons, children are getting forced into marrying older adults all over the world. In California in particular, there is no restriction on this. In a place where drinking, working, and smoking has an age requirement, it is odd that there is no minimum age requirement for one of the most important events in a persons life. California lacks the minimum age for marriage, the law ensures that teens can marry by the age of fifteen this law is unjust due to the fact that teens should not be forced to do something as detrimental as marriage. According to the United Nations Children's Fund, “marriage under the age of 18 may threaten a child's human rights (including the right to education, leisure, good health, freedom of expression, and freedom from discrimination)”. Not only does this affect their mental health and future as an adult, experts on family law say that early marriage carries all sorts of costs. Socially, they can’t really have a normal teenage life. They can’t be a kid, they have to be an adult and a wife to their husband. Teens also usually have to stop going to school after getting married. They don’t get enough education or graduate to live their own life or get a job. Financially, teens that get married at a young age are not educated enough to earn a lot of money. Teen under this rule are restricted from all of these things which is unjust.. The fact that teens can marry under the age of eighteen in California, is scary and life-threatening.
Usually, when a child gets married, they have to produce offspring. Pregnancy is the leading cause of death for young women ages 15 through 19. As many as 529,000 women die each year from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Since they are really young, they have struggles giving birth and often times die from it. Even if their babies are born, they are usually extremely sick and weak and do not live very long. Child brides also have a higher risk of getting sexually transmitted diseases as well.
The only benefit to child marriage is that it does help weaker populations grow. However, this does not make sense because if their children are sicker and weaker than children birthed from an older woman. So these children end up not living a long and fulfilling life. Also, the mother is at risk too, so in the end, one of them dies usually.
Child marriage, particularly forced child marriages to older spouses is not right. There are tremendous risks to the child including loss of education, socially suffering, and possibly dying. California has no restriction on the age for marriage, residents should put an end to it and speak out more online. This will spread the word that this is still happening in the U.S. It will bring attention and awareness to these children that are suffering. Children in California are suffering from forced marriages and the state is not doing anything to prevent this from happening. It is too easy for a minor to marry, this should not be allowed. California should make the minimum age to get married, eighteen. This will in the long run prevent child marriage and let children, be children.