She was 15, not even old enough to drive on her own.It didn’t matter how “infatuatedly in love” she was then with everything about Jeremie — his long chocolate hair, his bad-boy attitude, tongue stud and 28 tattoos.But critics argue that the effects are devastating.In a rising wave, they are pushing to abolish marriages of all minors — anyone under 18 in the U. Some 8,350 kids under 18 (about 7,050 girls, 1,300 boys) have married in Missouri since 1999, ranking it among the top 10 states in the nation for child marriages, with Texas and Florida leading the pack at more than 40,000 and 16,000 respectively.A majority of child brides drop out of high school and rely on government assistance.They are too young to rent a car or even drink at their own weddings.Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries.
More than 1,000 children the same age as Brittany have married in the state since 1999.
But records show that about 300 of the 1,000 15-year-olds wed in the state since 1999 married men age 21 or older. In 2005, one 15-year-old girl is recorded as having married a man in the category of “75 years and over.” Supporters say that requiring judicial approval for 15- and 16-year-olds to wed would allow judges to weed out inappropriate or forced marriages.
But in February, it was that requirement that triggered robust debate on the House floor, with opponents arguing that the inclusion of a judge stripped parents of a fundamental right to determine what’s right for their own kids.
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In the dark before sunrise, high school sophomore Brittany Koerselman, belly bulging, seven months pregnant and feeling like a cow, tucked herself into the borrowed white prom dress that would be her wedding gown. Jeremie Rook, her boyfriend and the father of her baby, was 21.