SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ—When the Patels replied to a matrimonial advertisement in their local paper for an eligible engineer in New Jersey seeking a young, well-educated bride from India, they may not have imagined how much their own lives would change.

The couple responded to the advertisement with details of their youngest daughter, a graduate with a degree in pharmacy. It is not uncommon for the families of young Indian American men and women to advertise in Indian newspapers for potential spouses.

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