GOH Organized Weddings for Teen Parents 2016/12/14
GOH plans a simple but grand wedding for teen parents.
Walking on the red carpet, receiving blessing from people, partners mutually supporting each other, and spending their lives together- above are simple and ordinary expectations people would have in a marriage, yet these expectations are luxuries to teen parents. The Garden of Hope Foundation(GOH)hosted a wedding for four teen parents to provide an opportunity to realize a dream of a wedding of white wedding dress. GOH also hopes that these couples and everyone in front of God's oath, with everyone's witness, receive blessings, and not excluded from society because they are teen parents.

According to Hui-Jung Chi, CEO of GOH, there are four couples of teen parents who have legally registered to marry and six babies signed up for the wedding this year. They are from Taichung, Kaohsiung and Pingtung. Most of these teen parents’ age range between 20-22 years old, with the youngest 17 years old. These babies' ages are from more than a month old to four years old. Much thanks to Johnson & Johnson's sponsorship that the commitment of teen parents are witnessed. The significance of this wedding is that their marriage and family receive public blessings, without suffering from social discrimination. Teen parents should be given adaptation and career planning advises for daily practical needs, so that they can have the courage to meet the challenges of the future.

Volunteers at GOH state that in order to shoulder the responsibility of parenting, and to pay the living expenses such as rent, diapers and milk powder, many teen parents who work together to support their children are hard working. But due to their young age, they have not enough knowledge and skills so they lack of competitiveness in the workforce. In addition, they face economic pressure from employment, child care, and housing. They regret that they never had the opportunity to have a wedding photo or a blessed wedding ceremony. GOH heard this regret of teen parents, thus planned a simple and grand wedding for them. In hope that besides the vow of love, the marital education courses next will educate them to resolve conflicts in parenting and financial spending.

As for the current hot issue of legal age to marry, the existing Civil Law requires the legal age to marry for male and female are 18 years old and 16 years old, respectively. Legislators in the Legislative Yuan recently suggested an amendment of 18 years old for both genders, and it was agreed by the Premier of the Republic of China, Lin Chuan. GOH believes that making the legal marriage age the same for male and female is aligned with the practice of gender equality. To resolve issue of adolescent pregnancy, in addition to strengthening sex education for teenagers, it should also be resolved by gender equality education implement the correct attitude to sex and self-image. As for the teenagers who are willing to tie the knot and to become young parents, GOH encourages the society to give friendly support, so teen parents can continue to integrate into the society in the future.

According to the survey of Health Promotion Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare, last year Taiwan had 3,230 pregnant female who were under 20-year-old, of which 49 women became mothers under age of fifteen, the youngest was only 12 years old. In about three to four hundred cases supported by GOH, up to 90% of these parents are willing to raise children on their own. According to 2015 service statistics of the responsibility of raising children, 59% of teen parents raise children on their own, 24% depend on the woman’s families and 8% depend on the man’s families. Therefore, GOH pays much attention on providing service to teen parents on how to raise children.

GOH service line for underage pregnancy:+886-800-257-085

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