Can a 20 yr old marry without parental consent?

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Can a 20 yr old marry without parental consent?

Postby Rachenko » 13 Feb 2010, 16:03

My Taiwanese girlfriend is 20 years old (plus 10 months). I, on the other hand, am a lot more mature.

Does she require legal consent from her parents in order to marry me (as in getting married in city hall
or a courthouse) in Taiwan?

She is under the impression that she has to be 21 or 22 to do so without her parents' consent but I thought it
was 20. Obviously the parents don't approve, which is why I'm asking this question. There is also some urgency
because she's already two months pregnant. Any info appreciated.
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Re: can my GF(20-yrs-old) marry without parental consent?

Postby Northcoast Surfer » 13 Feb 2010, 16:58

Rachenko wrote:My Taiwanese girlfriend is 20 years old (plus 10 months). I, on the other hand, am a lot more mature.

Does she require legal consent from her parents in order to marry me (as in getting married in city hall
or a courthouse) in Taiwan?

She is under the impression that she has to be 21 or 22 to do so without her parents' consent but I thought it
was 20. Obviously the parents don't approve, which is why I'm asking this question. There is also some urgency
because she's already two months pregnant. Any info appreciated.
In Taiwan, you are considered an adult at the age of 20 and therefore do not need anyone's legal permission to get married. However, emotional blackmail from her family and friends knows no age limit. Is she strong enough to make her own decision or will she bend to her parent's will?

Ooooh! I wanna hear a story! Please tell. I just linked your first three posts together and it makes for very interesting reading. It's a cold, windy, and rainy Chinese New Year Eve, please provide some entertainment.
:popcorn:

Information you have provided so far
1. Your girlfriend is 20 years old and two months pregnant.
2. You want to marry her, but her parents are against it.
3. You are planning on flying her back to the US.
4. You draw social security, so therefore you are over 62 years old or disabled.

Here's a recommendation. Have her get her Taiwan passport if she doesn't have it already. Have her go to the AIT and apply for a US visitor visa (she shouldn't mention you or the pregnancy). Then fly her to America. Marry her in the US and then go to immigration to apply for change of status from visitor visa to spousal visa.
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Re: can my GF(20-yrs-old) marry without parental consent?

Postby jimipresley » 13 Feb 2010, 17:02

I don't think the OP nor his (soon to be) wife intend to tell her parents anything until after the fact.
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Re: can my GF(20-yrs-old) marry without parental consent?

Postby ceevee369 » 13 Feb 2010, 17:09

jimipresley wrote:I don't think the OP nor his (soon to be) wife intend to tell her parents anything until after the fact.


Definition of "mature" might be a barrier indeed. And maybe they know eachother a few weeks only...
I do not think the lassie requirers legal approval from home though
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Re: can my GF(20-yrs-old) marry without parental consent?

Postby Battery9 » 13 Feb 2010, 17:34

even if you marry now it's going to take some time for her to be able to enter your country. Can you take care of her in your country?
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Re: can my GF(20-yrs-old) marry without parental consent?

Postby divea » 13 Feb 2010, 18:58

Battery9 wrote:even if you marry now it's going to take some time for her to be able to enter your country. Can you take care of her in your country?

Good question :thumbsup:
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Re: can my GF(20-yrs-old) marry without parental consent?

Postby Battery9 » 13 Feb 2010, 19:46

I work with a guy from Canada who has a wife here, and a 3 year old son and they had to show many photos about their lives together, stacks and stacks of paperwork. It took about 5 months for him to get the thumbs up.

Has your gf completed her education? Maybe she can try to go and study in your home country..but then again I guess she needs money to do that. I know you are in love but you have to make sure that this is the best thing for her and your child. You always have to think of the worst case scenario....say in 10 yrs time it doesn't feel that nice anymore and you guys split...she needs a nice education at least...and a family to fall back on for support.

Are her parents dead set against the relationship? Maybe you can let her have the baby here...and then in a year or so, when she is older and the baby is older, you can think about moving then?

ps. I know I don't have all the facts, these are just things that come to mind.
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Re: can my GF(20-yrs-old) marry without parental consent?

Postby Stray Dog » 13 Feb 2010, 20:03

Maybe the parents are trying to help her do what's best for her, given her impressionable age, which in Taiwan is far younger emotionally than it is elsewhere.

I think the best thing for her (not you) is to follow her parents' wishes. If I were you, I'd forget about snatching her away and instead work on winning over the parents. Her life will be absolutely miserable if she's stuck between two warring parties, one of whom is her SO and the other her family.

Be a man and work this out so it's best for all concerned.
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Re: can my GF(20-yrs-old) marry without parental consent?

Postby housecat » 13 Feb 2010, 20:55

The only possible problem I can see with stray dog's advice is that her parents may also wish her to abort. Giving up the girlfriend may also mean giving up his child in the worse possible sense. In this case, the OP, IMO, should have some rights to try and protect his unborn child.

And I don't want to say there's anything wrong in general with a May-December wedding, but like other posters have said, a twenty year old Taiwanese is still really only a child. Trust me, it's no fun being married to a child! And anyway, adopt-a-wife programs have so gone out of style.

But even if, OP, you decide that a bunch of foreigners on a website don't know enough about your situaton to speculate ( :noway: ), then consider that if you do take her to your own country, she's basically running away from her family to a completely different culture. Culture shock and pregnancy will not mix well.

And don't forget that if she's gong to fly, in spite of our warnings, that she should do so before the end of the second trimester, at least; this gives you 4 months.
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Re: can my GF(20-yrs-old) marry without parental consent?

Postby bismarck » 14 Feb 2010, 03:47

GiT makes a good point and I know several foreigners who have taken the abortion route in Taiwan to "get out of their predicament/responsibility". However, I know a few who bit the bullet. Some are happy, some aren't. Then again, I know legions who have dated for ages, planned their marriage and planned their children. Many of them are miserable and/or divorced. There are no guarantees either way.

When I met my wife she was 20 and I was almost 29, single and loving it. I was living the single life to the max in Tainan and often had more than one girlfriend on the go and I didn't discriminate against foreign girls either. So originally our relationship started out in that vein, i.e. nothing serious, casual dating, booty calls, whatever we felt like.
She, being as young as she was wasn't interested in anything too serious either. The only difference was that her family liked me from the get go. I first met her mum at the Tainan Lantern festival when we went there, totally randomly. She liked me from the get go.
I enjoyed spending time with her and as time went on it became more serious. After a particularly nice Kending getaway weekend we found she was pregnant. Actually, I cottoned on to it as she didn't want to tell me and was actually planning on having an abortion or just disappearing.
I'm not a fan of abortion in these cases, because I feel if she's good enough to roger, she's good enough to marry. This is just my own personal take on it (I have other reasons for being anti, also), but I wouldn't look down on someone who decided to go that route. To each his/her own. Just not with my child. And I also had a premonition it might be a boy and I had these visions of tossing a ball around with him, teaching him to fish, things like that. I sat her down and laid it all out for her. The pros and the cons and gave her options, but I asked her not to have an abortion. I also added that if she didn't want the child and/or didn't want to be married she could just give the baby to me. But I added that I'd prefer to marry her. She was 22 at the time and I was 31.
I left the decision up to her.

Her family felt she was too young to be married or have a child, but her mum (the awesome woman that she is) left the decision to her, and said she would support her either way. Having said that, it should be obvious that her family, and especially her mother aren't the average in-laws/Taiwanese family you sometimes read about here.
Eventually she decided to keep the child and accepted my marriage proposal. We then went through the arduous process of getting married here (Taiwanese to a foreigner) and we were under a time limit because I didn't want my child being born before we were married, as in that case (I'm told) the father isn't recognised as the child's parent in Taiwan. Fortunately we got everything done in time and got married on 11 February 2007. I was 31 and she was a few months short of 23. Here I should mention that I didn't know there was such a large age difference at the time, because she was fairly mature for her age and I just assumed she was around 26 or 27.

Three years on we're still going strong and our relationship keeps getting stronger. However:
a. After about a year of marriage we went through a very rocky patch and nearly got divorced. I posted about it here.
b. Marriage under any circumstances, even same race, religion, nationality and cultural relationships are difficult at best. Marriage is tough. But with marriages between partners with significant age differences, different native languages (especially when both parties aren't exactly fluent in their partner's language), different cultures, different religions, different nationalities and from different races it is hugely challenging. On many levels.
Point is, if your marriage and your partner are important to you, you need to work hard at it. Compromise. Find ways to communicate. We have most of these differences in our marriage and it's been very challenging. Added to that, I can be a selfish prick at times, not always patient and I'm generally difficult to live with. My wife is very independent minded and strong willed. We've had huge fights but I think, in the end, they've led to us growing closer together and learn to understand each other better. Again, her mother has been a huge help and has often provided an ear (I approached her on a few occasions, she doesn't meddle) and an objective outsiders opinion at times.
c. My family is 16 000km away. Unconditional love and support from her family (especially her mother) and their unconditional acceptance of me and out relationship has been key.
d. We allow each other to have an occasional night out with our own friends and we allow each other the freedom to explore each others own hobbies etc.
d. We make an effort to communicate our feelings about things and why we feel that way.
e. We make an effort to take time out together with things like date nights. Again, help with practical things like babysitting from her family has been a huge help.
f. We show interest in each others interests. Example: I'll watch silly Taiwanese game shows with her and she plays rugby pick the scores on the internet with me, and goes along to rugby games and bbqs. She even has a Springbok jersey and pretends to be interested in the games.
g. When she first moved in with me after we decided to get married she lost her job (because she was pregnant) and I had to take on extra work as I had promised to keep up her car and study debt payments. Not to mention the added cost of a baby! I had to bust my ass seven days a week month in and month out with no vacation for 18 months. But after she started working again she paid for all of us to go away on vacation for a week as a kind of birthday gift for me.

In conclusion, sure, it would've been way easier to have an abortion. However, besides my feelings on the subject, I don't think people realise the negative psychological effects that such a procedure has on a woman, let alone a young girl of 20 or 21. And it would've been equally easy to get divorced after the going got tough during the first year.
But now, looking back, I have no regrets. I have a wife who I love to death and I can't imagine life without her or my son. For me, the hard work and the sacrifices have been well worth it to come home everyday to two people who love me.
Additionally, the positive and supportive attitude of her family and especially my mother-in-law have played a big role. I would be very worried about that aspect and would find some way to get them onboard if you were to decide on marriage.

The OP needs to really consider everything carefully and make a decision with his girlfriend that both of them will be able to live with. I hope my experience helps in some small way. Good luck. :thumbsup:
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