14-Year-Old And 16-Year-Old Ran Away From Home Until Their Parents Allowed Them To Marry

The underage couple married after obtaining dispensation by the region's religious court.

Photos of a wedding between a 14-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy from South Sulawesi, Indonesia, recently made headlines

The young couple's union, which took place at the girl's house in Sidrap, became the talk of the town due to the fact that both sets of parents initially refused to allow the marriage, Coconuts Jakarta reported.

The teenage boy first expressed his intention to marry his 14-year-old girlfriend to his mother, who reacted by banning them from dating.

"We even forbade them to meet," she said.

"However, they ran away from home for a week and we tried to persuade them to come home by agreeing to let them marry officially," his mother Nurdiana told Kompas on 4 March.

The underage couple were able to marry after obtaining dispensation by the region's religious court

Officials from the Bacukiki Sub-district, including officials from the Bacukiki Religious Affairs Offices (KUA), visited Nurdiana's home a day after the wedding.

"We were shocked upon seeing our underage residents getting married. Apparently, the wedding took place in another regency," Bacukiki Sub-district head Iskanda Nusu said during the visit. 

Despite the fact that Bacukiki KUA head Amir Said disapproved of their marriage, he could not prevent or annul the marriage as the wedding took place outside of Parepare City

"We disagreed with the child marriage because it violates the law. But the parents said they were forced to marry their children," he explained.

The current legal age of marriage in Indonesia is 19 years old for men and 16 years old for women.

However, the country's Law No. 1 of 1974 on Marriage allows marriages to still be considered legal if they are done in accordance with religious beliefs, Coconuts Jakarta reported.

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