‘Counting On’ Star Justin Duggar Announces His Engagement to Claire Spivey, One Day After His 18th Birthday

” … I thought your birthday would never get here!!

Call in Miss Cindy and Single Sister Jana Duggar – there’s another Duggar wedding to plan! 

Counting On star Justin Duggar, the 14th blessing child of Jim Bob and Michelle, announced his engagement to Claire Spivey on Monday, a whole 24 hours after celebrating his 18th birthday.

“We’re so excited,” Justin said in a video posted by TLC. “I just proposed to Claire and she said yes.”

“When I saw him get down on one knee and kind of dig in his pocket, I was like, I can’t believe it,” Claire added. “I’ve waited for this moment, but actually seeing it happen, it was pretty surprising.”

Claire may have been surprised, but many ‘Counting On’ fans were not. On social media, many fans suspected that the Duggars may have been waiting for Justin to turn 18 (which he did on November 15) to announce the engagement, which most likely took place when Justin was still 17.


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A post shared by Justin Duggar (@justinsamduggar)

Justin, who revealed that he was courting Claire last season on ‘Counting On,’ said in the video for TLC that he’d been talking with Claire’s parents “for quite a while” and that he got their blessing before putting a ring on it – as if he had a choice. Claire mentions in the video that fans will see more of the couple’s journey on ‘Counting On,’ so brace yourselves for another Duggar wedding special in the not-so-distant future.

Justin and Claire told TLC – together, of course – that they cannot wait to married and are “looking forward to a life together of faith in Christ, love for one another and happiness.”

The news of Justin and Claire’s engagement was met some congratulations from a few  Duggars, including Joy Forsyth and Jill Dillard, two of Justin’s nine sisters. 

“Congrats to my bro, [Justin] & his now fiancé, [Claire],” Joy posted to her Instagram Story. “Love you guys and we’re SO excited for you!!” 

“Congrats bro,” Jill commented on Justin’s post. “Being married to your best friend [is] the best!!!” 

Both Justin and Claire shared their engagement news on their respective social media pages, with Claire seemingly revealing that the pair had been in a courtship for much longer than fans were led to believe. 

“After 14 months of courting, I am thrilled beyond words to be engaged to [Justin Duggar],” she wrote. “So looking forward to see what the Lord holds for us during this next chapter of life. Thank you everyone for your support and enthusiasm!!” 

She proudly showed off her new engagement ring on social media as well.

“Thanks Jim Bob…er, Justin!”

Assuming Claire was only courted by Justin during that time, this means the couple actually entered into a courtship when Justin was still 16. 

Claire’s mom, Hilary Spivey, previously defended the Duggars after fans accused Jim Bob of arranging his kids’ marriages, as well as Justin and Claire’s courtship. At the time, Hilary argued that the Duggar kids were capable of handling “lots of responsibility at a young age, unlike most in society today.” 

“Justin’s daddy told him that he knew he would marry young cause he was so responsible,” she added. 

RELATED STORY: ‘Counting On’ Star Jed Duggar Loses Election for Arkansas State House; Says He’ll Be Praying for His Opponent

(Photos: TLC; Instagram)


22 Responses

    1. IKR?? That’s the real reason. Not cuz “daddy” said he’s responsible for his age. More like cuz he’s horny for his age. They just can’t fathom any of their kids even kissing someone before marriage. Such a bizarre existence.

  1. Sadly he’s not even the youngest in his family who will marry. His own mother Michelle was only 17 when she married JB. (But they didn’t have J*sh until four years in marriage, you know these two won’t wait so long) He is the youngest of the 2nd generation though. And Jill, I expected more of you. How can you be excited that your teenage brother will get married?! And “best friend”?! He didn’t even have a chance to form a friendship or a relationship with any other girl, she’s the only one he knows!

    And there is some speculation around this that I can totally understand. (Apart from, you know, being horny teenagers) When he was born, his family already had 13 children before. They were already overwhelmed (hence the whole ‘buddy system’ and such) and somehow had five more after him. He never had a chance to be cherished as an individual in his family. Spiveys have a reasonable amount of kids (6, which is not a lot for fundies) and he gets all the attention he craved from his parents, from his soon to be mother-in-law. I’m not saying this is healthy, he should have been in therapy and not getting hitched but you know how much Duggars believe in therapy. So the attention he never got, he got with being the first Duggar to marry so young. He could be a father at 18 too. I already am afraid that Joy will crack when she gets older because she married young but Justin might have the same problem.

    And again, poor Jana.

  2. I don’t think marrying while still children has anything to do with being responsible. More likely, it has more to do with being able to at least hold hands, to expedite being able to be sexually active, and to get out from under the thumb of those controlling parents and that insane household!

  3. Honestly Congrats to them! I know several couples who married young and still have strong, healthy marriages. Just because it isn’t the norm anymore doesn’t mean it can’t work.

  4. @CB…It works out when you’ve got no education and a bunch of children following behind you! Nothing opens up dating pool options like an unemployed, uneducated adult with someone else’s kids to feed?

  5. And here i am 35 and unwed, i love my boyfriend but im in no rush.

    I cant imagine marrying my 18 year old boyfriend, id be divorced.

  6. They started COURTING when he was 16 (2 months shy of turning 17)….
    They got engaged the day after he turned 18…. and courted for 14 months… which made his 16 and courting?

  7. Does anyone else think he was a problem child who they had to marry off ASAP to prevent another scandal?

    I mean 16 and already courting is odd even for them.

    Do we know if he went to that training camp they sometimes use for setting them straight?

    1. I grew up in a pretty religious environment. Saw this all the time. They pretty much get married this young so they can do the do/play house and “it’s okay, since they’re married”

      Yeah, it rarely works out.

      1. I was raised around the same type of people. The ones that got married at 18 and looked down on me for going to college and having a career (in secular education, gasp!) before considering marriage are all now in their thirties with dead eyes. Yep. Very happy I’m not 32 with children old enough to “court” and have “blessings.” I’ll take the terrible twos and preteen years instead of planning arranged marriages any damn day.

      1. @ CB- I think the odds of a long lasting union greatly increase when you’re uneducated, unemployed and have a slew of kids in tow. Few things close the potential dating pool faster.

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