►Teen marriage is typically defined as the union of two adolescents, joined in marriage from the age range of 14–19 years old. Until the late 20th century, teen marriage was very common and instrumental in securing a family, continuing a blood lineage and producing offspring for labor. Many factors contribute to teen marriage such as love, teen pregnancy, religion, security, family and peer pressure, arranged marriage, economic and political reasons, social advancement, and cultural reasons. Studies have shown that teenage married couples are often less advantageous, may come from broken homes, may have little education and work low status jobs in comparison to those that marry after adolescence. Although a majority of teen marriages suffer from complications and often lead to divorce, some are successful. For example, in India, where teenagers are sometimes forced to marry by arrangement, more than 90% of these marriages will not end in divorce. In the United States, half of teen marriages dissolve within 15 years of the marriage. The rate of teen marriage, however, is decreasing due the many opportunities that are available now that previously were not available before. Presently, teen marriage is not widely accepted in much of the world. Teen marriage is most prevalent in culturally or geographically isolated parts of the world and it is decreasing where education is the focus of the population. ► Teen marriage was not a big issue in the old times. Life expectancy was shorter then and most of our economy was depended on agriculture and farming. People were less educated and large number of children was considered a boon as it meant more hands to work and greater prosperity. But times have changed now. Boys and girls both are opting for higher education and a good financial position before they marry. They have become more conscious about their health, birth control and know more about sex and how to avoid unplanned pregnancy. Trying to achieve ambitions before taking on the responsibility of marriage results in delay of marriage and child bearing.
Thus, support systems for these very young couples have diminished and even become non-existent and they have become an exception in the society. Teenage marriage has become a challenge in the modern age. The first reason that comes to our minds about a teenage marriage is an unplanned pregnancy, and rightly so. Most of the adolescents who decide to have an early marriage do so because they are faced with an unplanned pregnancy and they feel that they need to bear the responsibility of the child, even though they are not settled in their own lives. While abortions and adoptions are an option, they think that they have done something wrong and it is their duty to bear the consequences too. It is a very wrong approach to marriage, to start with.
Most teens are still not educated or mature enough or have enough financial responsibilities to shoulder a family or parenthood. In such cases, adoption is an opportunity where the teens may place their child in loving hands and give them a secure life while they can work to become more stable themselves. They may also consider open adoption, so that they can meet their child when they are ready and see how the child is doing in his or her life. Some of the challenges that teenage couples may have to face include not having the privilege to sign for even the most basic of services such as renting or car purchasing.
Though, in some countries they may attain the ‘adult’ status by marriage if not by age, in most places it is not so. The other challenges may include that married teenagers may not get admissions to some public school systems easily and they can miss the educational opportunities. They may not be able to buy insurance for themselves, especially if they do not have parent’s financial support. Many insurance policies do not allow married teens with separate households to be covered by their...
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