The US Government advocates an end to child marriage, but in 48 of 50 states, legal exceptions to minimum marriage ages allow those younger than 18 years to be married. The District of Columbia and territories like Puerto Rico also allow child marriage.
Earlier this year, Delaware and New Jersey became the first two states to prohibit the practice entirely, joining others—Virginia, Texas, Kentucky, and New York—that have adopted similar rules but still allow emancipated minors (who are legally considered to be adults) to marry before age 18. In most states, the legal minimum age of marriage is 16, although some allow marriage at younger ages with parental consent.
Read more in The Lancet