Houston Matters

Underage Marriage: Closer to Home and More Common Than You’d Think

When you hear the term “child bride,” you’re likely to think of something happening a long time ago and somewhere far away, writes the Houston Chronicle’s Frankie Ortega. But for her, it happened much closer to home. In the 1970s, her own mother was forced – by her mother – to get married at the […]

Frankie Ortega's mother pictured in the 1970s with the man she married at age 14. He was 21. Photo Courtesy: Frankie Ortega.

When you hear the term "child bride," you're likely to think of something happening a long time ago and somewhere far away, writes the Houston Chronicle's Frankie Ortega. But for her, it happened much closer to home. In the 1970s, her own mother was forced – by her mother – to get married at the age of 14 to a man who was 21 in Orange, Texas.

She tells Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty her mom's story, and says underage marriages are still legal in Texas in some circumstances — and happen more than you'd think.

You can find more on her story in Sunday's edition (Feb. 21, 2016) of the Chronicle.

(Above: Frankie Ortega’s mother pictured in the 1970s with the man she married at age 14. He was 21. Photo Courtesy: Frankie Ortega.)

MORE:
A Child Bride in Texas (Houston Chronicle, Jan. 26, 2016)

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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