Resources for Teachers and Students
Long-standing laws and loopholes have kept some forms of child marriage legal in every U.S. state — until now. Delaware just fully banned child marriage. In most states an underage marriage involves a combination of permissions from a parent and a judge and sometimes proof that the girl is pregnant. While the U.S. State Department considers forcing a child into marriage a human rights violation, it has happened here.
Class discussion: Should children ever be allowed to marry? Why or why not? If a child is not allowed to sign a contract, how could they decide on entering a supposedly life-long marriage commitment? Is religion more important than the welfare of children? What hazards does a person face if they are married as a child? Is there ever any reason to force anyone into marriage? How common is child marriage around the world and in the United States?
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