'Baby Bride' Wins Annulment

Bride married at 1, wins annulment at 18
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Apr 26, 2012 12:23 AM CDT
Updated Apr 26, 2012 12:47 AM CDT
Laxmi Sargara, 18, holds certificate of annulment of her marriage at the age of 1.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – An Indian "baby bride" wedded at the age of 12 months to a 3-year-old groom has won an annulment of the marriage 17 years later. "I was unhappy about the marriage,” said Laxmi Sargara. “I told my parents, who did not agree with me, then I sought help." Child marriages are illegal in India, but are still common in many areas. Child brides usually stay with their own families until they reach puberty. Laxmi was about to be sent to the groom's home in Rajasthan in northwestern India when she turned to a local social worker for help, reports MSNBC. The social worker convinced the groom that the marriage was unfair, and he agreed to the legal annulment.

"It is the first example we know of a couple wed in childhood wanting the marriage to be annulled, and we hope that others take inspiration from it," the social worker told AFP. Close to 47% of married women in India marry before the age of 18, and 40% of the world's child marriages take place in the nation, according to a Unicef report.

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