• Do I lose any rights if I′m pregnant?

    Date: 09.04.07 | by Judge Tom.

    Not long ago, the answer to this question was a definite “yes.” In the 1970s, you could have been asked to drop out of school if you were an unwed pregnant minor, or you could have lost your job for taking maternity leave.

    U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun said that the sex discrimination laws mean that “women as capable of doing their jobs as their male counterparts may not be forced to choose between having a child and having a job.”*

    The law now allows you to continue your education if you′re pregnant.You can′t be discriminated against because you′re pregnant or because you′ve had an abortion. Some school districts offer programs for pregnant teens, allowing them to obtain prenatal care and parenting classes, and to stay on track with academic schoolwork. Check to see if your district offers these opportunities.

    You may also be able to obtain prenatal medical care, with or without your parents′ consent. If your parents know about the pregnancy and are supportive, all the better. But if they don′t know, or if they oppose it, you can still get the medical attention you and the baby need.

    In 1978, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act regarding employment was passed. The Act applies to you whether you′re a teenager or an adult. It prohibits any discrimination based solely on your medical condition, resulting from an abortion or a pregnancy.

    Photo by Polina Sergeeva

    If you′re a full-time employee, you may take maternity leave (often without pay) and without fear of losing your job. This affects few teenagers because most aren′t employed full-time. Depending on the circumstances, maternity leave may apply to teenage parents. States may have their own laws on this subject, so check into your local rules or contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Office (EEOC).

    The courts have gone one step further in eliminating discrimination against women in the workplace. The Supreme Court ruled in 1991 that employers can′t exclude women of childbearing age from jobs that pose reproductive hazards, such as industrial jobs. Gender-based discrimination, whether to protect the mother or her future children, is unlawful.

    Teen births dropped in 2010 for the third year in a row. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in April, 2012 that pregnancy prevention programs and an increase in the use of contraceptives has contributed to the decrease. Mississippi tops the list with 55 teen births per 1,000 girls while New Hampshire has the lowest teen birth rate at 15.7 per 1,000 girls. To see the report, go to:  www.cdc.gov/nchs/births.htm  For the latest statistics on teen birth rates, read this 2013 post.

     

    *Auto Workers v. Johnson Controls, 499 U.S. 187 (1991).

    The National Center for Health Statistics reported in April, 2012 that the percentge of firstborns grew to unmarried parents living together – almost 25% growth since 2002. The study was based on face-to-face interviews with a little over 12,000 women and 10,000 men between the ages of 15 and 44. Sociologist Kelly Musick of Cornell University, N.Y. stated that cohabiting used to be more common among women who didn’t graduate from high school but it’s becoming more common  for those with a high-school degree or some college. The economy and recession are considered contributing factors to these statistics.

    In a study reported in the Obstetrics and Gynecology Journal in 2012, the availability of free birth control led to dramatically lower rates of abortion and teen births. Dr. Jeffrey Peipert of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, said there were 6.3 births per 1,000 teenagers in the study. Compare that with a national rate of 34 births per 1,000 teens in 2010.

    “What makes you a man is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise one.”  This applies to teen parents, boys and girls, as well.  -President Barack Obama

    FYI

    Campaign for Our Children
    www.cfoc.org
    Lots of information about teen pregnancy. The site was designed for parents, but you can go here, too.

    National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
    teenpregnancy.org
    This site offers lots of information on and research about teen pregnancy. Read others′ stories, learn about STDs, and much more.

    For current CDs, videos and books about teen health and pregnancy take a look at:  http://www.youthtoday.org/

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    53 Comments subscribe to these comments.

    • Jessie
      Mon, 31 May 2010 at 02:11

      Hi Judge,
      I had some questions. Im 17 and had a baby. Just recently i signed guardianship to my grandparents. Not knowing that they’d not let me see my son. Or have anything to do with him for that matter. I’ll be 18 soon, i want my son back and i was wondering if i could just go to my grandparents and ask them back for my son. Will it be illegal for me to take him back?
      Dear Jessie: Talk with your grandparents about your son’s return to your custody. Since you’ll be an adult soon and are his legal parent, you do have rights regarding his custody. Under the laws of your state, you may be able to rescind the guardianship you signed. Contact your local family court to see if they offer the public any legal advice regarding guardianship of children, custody and visitation issues. Many cities across the country have a Free Legal Assistance Program that allows you to receive advice from a lawyer for 30 minutes or so at no cost to you. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Sabrina
      Thu, 16 Sep 2010 at 11:07

      I was wondering what it will take to get my child back in to my custody. My parents have guardianship, and I would like full responsibility of him. What can I do to get the guardianship undone?
      Dear Sabrina: If the guardianship was court-ordered, it will take a court order to modify or vacate the order. If you used a lawyer to establish the guardianship, contact him/her for information about reversing it. You could also contact the court to see if there is a list of lawyers you can call for advice. There are many types of guardianships and each has a process to change or end it. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Alice
      Sun, 10 Apr 2011 at 09:30

      I am 17 years old and pregnant my boyfriend is 18 years old. I love in Florida can he go to jail?
      Dear Alice: If you are referring to statutory rape since you’re a minor, it’s unlikely that he has broken the law. Such laws are usually written to protect younger teens from relationships with older adults. Google “Florida statutory rape” for more information. Stay healthy for yourself and your baby.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Lisa
      Tue, 26 Apr 2011 at 01:55

      What is the law in Michigan concerning teen parental rights? Can the parent of a 16yr old make her give her child up for adoption? What are some alternatives for a teen mom with unsupportive parents and no family to turn to?
      Dear Lisa: In most states, the decision to give up a child for adoption belongs to the mother and/or father regardless of age. There may be exceptions to this depending on the circumstances.To read specific information regarding Michigan law, Google “Michigan teen parental rights.” There are public agencies & private organizations that provide services to teen parents, including housing and medical care if needed. Take a look at this government website for some information about teen parents and adoption:
      http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dhs/DHS_Program_List_207362_7.pdf
      You might also speak with a family or juvenile law attorney. He or she would know what’s available in your area. Many lawyers provide free consultations for 30 minutes or so, just enough time to explain the situation and obtain some resources. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Megan
      Mon, 11 Jul 2011 at 08:29

      I will be 17 in two weeks and my father is trying to get a court ordered adoption after my baby is born. I want to keep it. He also is trying to tell me to move back home from my grandmothers so he can keep me locked in a room. What can I do?
      Dear Megan: Every state has specific laws regarding adoption. Generally, as a teen mom, you have rights over your baby. In order for your child to be adopted by anyone, you must consent to it or there needs to be a court order terminating your parental rights to the child. Talk with an adult you trust about this and your living situation. For example, a school counselor, your grandparents or the parents of a close friend. If you are in any danger of being abused or neglected, you can always call Child Protective Services. ChildHelp exists to help kids in abusive situations. 1-800-422-4453. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Adriana
      Fri, 09 Sep 2011 at 10:28

      Hi judge,
      I have a question,i am 17 years old and pregnant and i was wondering if it is possible for me to drop out of school, i live in the state of claifornia?
      Dear Adriana: Compulsory education laws in your state require you to be in school until you are 18. However, there are exceptions to this requirement. The following statement is from the California Department of Education’s website: “California compulsory education law requires everyone between the ages of six and eighteen years of age to attend school, except sixteen and seventeen year-olds who have graduated from high school or passed the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) and obtained parental permission to leave.” So, try talking to your school counselor about your pregnancy and your thoughts on dropping out. He/she could provide other options like alternative schools, GED programs, etc. You already have so many years behind you in school and only have a short period before receiving your diploma. That’s huge and could greatly benefit your future. Take care of yourself.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Amanda
      Tue, 29 Nov 2011 at 04:03

      Hey judge,
      I am 16 and live in North Carolina. I am possibly pregnant and my parents said that if I am, when the baby is born they are taking custody of the baby. Can they do that? I am going to work so that I can take care of him/her. I am wanting to raise it and care for it considering it is my child. They want him/her to grow up thinking I am it’s sibling. Do I have a say so in whether or not they can do this? Any advice would be great and extremely helpful.
      Thank you,
      Amanda
      Dear Amanda: The laws regarding parental authority over pregnant teens differ from state to state. Here is a government web site in North Carolina with information, phone numbers, etc.
      If you Google “North Carolina teen parents,” you’ll see additional resources that may help you out.
      Good luck and stay healthy.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Jullian
      Fri, 23 Dec 2011 at 12:15

      Hey judge,
      I am 15 and getting ready to have a baby. I want to know if I have legal right over who is in the delivery room with me. My parents say that I have no legal right and that the father of the child cannot be in there with me by their choice. What do I actually have say over?
      Dear Jullian: Your rights as a teen parent depend on specific laws in your state. The hospital policies and procedures may also have a say in who is allowed in the delivery room and under what circumstances. You can speak with someone at the hospital about this or go online to the hospital’s website for information. You can also ask your doctor who should know the rules of the hospital where he or she practices. You can also Google the name of your state and “teen parent rights” for additional information. Good luck to you & your baby. Stay healthy even after delivery.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Ashley
      Fri, 16 Mar 2012 at 08:58

      I’m 17 and pregnant . I turn 18 in August and the baby should be due in the middle of November . Im scared to tell my mother because I feel like she’ll tell me that I can’t see my unborn baby’s father . Is it legal for her to forbid me from seeing him ? I also wanted to know if I could get medicaid without her knowledge ? I live in Virginia
      Dear Ashley: As long as you are under 18 and living with your mother, you’re required under the law to follow her rules. So, she could forbid you from seeing your boyfriend. Being pregnant doesn’t release you from listening to your parents. Think about telling her about your pregnancy – she’s going to find out sooner or later anyway. Not to mention there’s no danger of you getting pregnant from your boyfriend again during this pregnancy. As far as Medicaid, take a look at this site for information and eligibility requirements in Virginia. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • cecilia
      Tue, 27 Mar 2012 at 08:08

      hi judge, I am 15 and i have an 8 month old daughter. Her father and i are still together but we live in seperate houses. My mother thinks it is her job to set up visitation. my mom lets my boyfriend see jocelyn a total of about 12 hours a week and every other weekend for about 8 hours. is this fair? shouldnt i be the one to decide when he sees our daughter?
      Dear Cecilia: Since you live at home and are a minor, it is your Mom’s responsibility to set the rules. As a minor you’re required under the law to follow these rules until you’re either emancipated or turn 18. The schedule you’ve described seems reasonable considering your ages. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • cecilia
      Fri, 30 Mar 2012 at 08:06

      How do you get emancipated?
      Dear Cecilia: Not every state has an emancipation law. In the states that do, it’s not easy to get from a judge. Generally, you have to show that you’re independent and able to make adult decisions in all aspects of your life. For information that applies to you, Google the name of your state and “emancipation laws.” Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • jamaris
      Thu, 26 Jul 2012 at 07:02

      HI my name is jamaris an i’m 16 years old an i live in Dayton,Ohio an im 4 months pregnant my child’s father is 17 years old an he’ll be 18 in jan (3 weeks after our daughter is born) an his mom will not let him see me or take any part in my pregnancy because she doesnt think my daughter is his … can she tell him that he cant be apart of my pregnancy even though he wants to ?
      Dear Jamaris: As a minor, your boyfriend is required to obey his mother as long as he lives with her and is not emancipated. Once he turns 18 in January, he becomes an adult and can make his own decisions. Once the baby is born and a blood test shows he’s the father of the child, things may improve with his mother. In the meantime, you’ll both have to make the best of it. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Allie
      Sat, 25 Aug 2012 at 06:41

      Hello judge, I’m 15 and pregnant, she will be here soon, I have to ask in Michigan, can the father take custody from me?
      He’s 17, not in school and damanding I live with his family in unruly circumstances, I’m currently still with him but I will not live there, even my mother won’t allow it, because I have to continue school.

      His family has gotten around the courts often and I’ve already been threatened that they will go for custody.
      I would like for him to be able to sign the birth certificate considering undoubted-ably the baby’s father,

      But I’m afraid of I allow that to happen he will have a better chance of getting her. Anything that could help?
      Dear Allie: First, you’re right about finishing school. That’s the best gift you can give your daughter in order to raise her as you’d like. Teen fathers have rights just like teen mothers. Every state has its own laws about this. We suggest you talk to a lawyer who practices family or juvenile law. Many courts across the country offer free consultations with lawyers with no obligation to hire them. That’s your decision. In a thirty minute session you will be able to get some advice about how to proceed and protect your rights regarding custody. Check with your local court about a family law program for the public. If such a program doesn’t exist, you can call a lawyer Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Kayla
      Mon, 01 Oct 2012 at 04:38

      Hi my name is Kayla im 16 and I live in Sioux City Iowa. I am curently pregnant and I would like to know if I have the rights to move out and into my own place. Mom and dad are very stricked and I cant hvae the way they live around my baby. I need help. I dont know where to go or what to do. Im have enough cash to get me and my baby a place and have the things she needs but how do I get out without having to be controled by my parents. Someone said that if you are pregnant in the state of Iowa you are considered an adult and you can move out. I need help find out if this is true. Thanks
      Dear Kayla: What you have been told is incorrect. Below is some information about emancipation in Iowa.
      http://minors.uslegal.com/emancipation/iowa-emancipation-of-minor-law/
      Either by way of military enlistment or marriage does one become an emancipated minor in most states. So, you’ll have to make the best of the situation. As a minor you’re required to listen to your parents until reaching age 18. Hopefully you can all sit down and reach an agreement that’s acceptable to everyone. Good luck and stay healthy.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Colette Adkins
      Sat, 19 Jan 2013 at 08:31

      My niece lives in Ar. and she has a two week old baby, she’s 1 month from being 17 yrs. old. The babies father is 16yrs. old. The fathers parents are threatening my neice with legal action if she doesn’t let them see the baby. They wanted her to sign something to say that their son would not have to pay child support. No one is for sure if it’s even the boys child. What can they do legally do to her? What are her rights as far as Ar.law goes
      Dear Colette: Your niece may want to contact a family law attorney in her area who could provide information based on the specific laws in her state as well as her circumstances. First, she does have rights as a teen parent and the possible grandparents on the father’s side will have to take the matter to court if they want visitation rights of the baby. Since it sounds uncertain as to who the biological father is, a paternity test may need to be conducted. Your niece can choose to either ignore the grandparent’s threats and wait to see if they take the matter to court, talk to a local attorney about her situation or try talking to the grandparents and work out some sort of compromise. Good luck to your niece.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • concernedfather
      Tue, 26 Feb 2013 at 08:33

      I live in Michigan and i have a 9 month old daughter. Iam 18 years old and my ex girlfriend is 15. She has been refusing to let me see my daughter for months now and her mom has finally stepped in, but she only let’s me see my daughter for 6 hours a week. Do I have any rights to see my daughter? Also the mother of my child claims that she is going to take full custody as soon as she turns 18 and can go to court. So I’d just like to know what rights I have to see my child, how do I get more time with her, and is it going to be easy for her to take full custody because she’s the mother.
      Dear Sir: As the birth father of the child, you do have equal rights with the mother to custody and visitation with your child as well as the responsibility to support the child. We suggest you speak with your parents about this. Together you can decide how to proceed. You may want to consult a family lawyer who can explain to you your legal rights and how to protect them. Many family lawyers will give you a free consultation for the first 30-60 minutes. Ask about this when you call the lawyer’s office. Also, many courts around the country have a Family Law Assistance Program where you may obtain free legal advice on these issues. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Izzy
      Sat, 02 Mar 2013 at 07:44

      Hi judge,
      Im currently 16 and having a baby girl in about 4 months, I live in Michigan, and want to know my rights, my mother is not at all happy that i am pregnant and does not want me to keep my baby girl, she says i can live with her but the baby can’t because im a minor i can’t move out with an aunt yet, what can i do so i can keep my baby?
      Dear Izzy: As a teen mom, you do have certain rights over your baby. We suggest you talk with a counselor at school about this or another adult you trust and would feel comfortable with. You can also contact Planned Parenthood for advice and to discuss your options. Take care of yourself and the baby. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Savana
      Fri, 08 Mar 2013 at 02:20

      Dear Judge,
      I’m 16 and I’m pregnant by my 20 year old boyfriend. He is in the Army, he is in SOPC. He lives is in Fort Bragg NC while I am here in West Virginia. We want to get married here in West Virgina. What exactly are my rights, and what all do I need to do to prepare for His and I wedding?
      Dear Savana: Since you are a minor, it appears that you need parental consent in order to get married. However, you need to make sure these laws are current, so you could contact your local court and speak with a clerk about the matter and how to go about getting a marriage license. If you haven’t already talked to your parents about your plans, you should do so. With parental consent, you and your boyfriend can get married without there being a problem. Best of luck to you, your boyfriend and unborn child.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • brandie
      Sun, 17 Mar 2013 at 12:02

      Hello my name is Brandi and im 14 .,15 in april . Um pregnant by a 29 year old and my baby is due on august 12,2013 and im in in fostercare . My mother doesnt want me having my baby girl and her and my grandmother tried to go against me for custody to giv up her for adoption . I want my baby and im in emmancipation process but im worried I that it wont b done in time and thesystem will take my bby beacause my past behavioral issues . I wanted to know if it came down to it and I awoled can I get charged with kidnap of my unborn child . And would I loose custody if I gave birth and stayed . I live in riverside county of california . Hellp!!! I have 20 weeks till birth and the emancipation has tooken 2months and doesnt look promising . Please help .

      -brandie jo williams
      Dear Brandie: As a teen mom, you do have certain rights over your baby. We suggest you talk with a counselor at school about this or another adult you trust and would feel comfortable with. You can also contact Planned Parenthood for advice and to discuss your options. Child Protective Services get involved in cases and will place a newborn baby in another home or foster care if, for example, there are substance abuse issues going on. However, if you are sober and able to care for your baby, this may not be an issue. Again, a counselor at your school or Planned Parenthood could help explain the process to you and possibly reassure you that your baby is not at risk of being taken depending on your circumstances. Finally, you could schedule a consultation with a family attorney to talk about these matters. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation. Take care of yourself and the baby. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Christian
      Tue, 19 Mar 2013 at 01:10

      My name is Christian and I am a pregnant 17 year old. The father of the baby is 18 and on a restraining order to not see me. My parents put the restrain order on him. On Wednesday I have an abortion appointment pressured by my parents. If I chose to keep the baby living at home for the next 4 to 5 months I was threaten by my parents that living at home pregnant would be a choice I would regret. That my life would be made miserable while pregnant? Is there any way I can leave my house now?
      Dear Christian: Unless you are emancipated, your parents are responsible for you until you are 18. In other words, you have to continue to follow their rules. At the same time, you do have rights as a teen mother. If your parents agree to letting you live with another adult, then you can move without there being any problem. Otherwise, you will need to continue to live with them. If you need to talk to someone about your options and your rights as a teen mom, please talk to a counselor at your school or contact your local Planned Parenthood. Best of luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • maddy
      Thu, 28 Mar 2013 at 12:56

      hello,

      My name is Maddy and I live in Ohio and I’m 16 and pregnant with my 17 year old boyfriends baby. I was wondering if I could move in with him without my parents concent. I want my babies father to be there to help take care of the baby but I am scared that my parents will keep me away from him. If you could please answer this question I would really love that.
      Dear Maddy: Unless you are emancipated, you are required to live with your parents or a guardian until you are 18. If your parents agree to letting you live with your boyfriend and his family, then there shouldn’t be a problem in you doing so. Otherwise, you will have to continue to live with your parents. Perhaps you could try sitting down and calmly talking with them about how you feel. You might be able to reach an agreement about you and the baby’s living situation if you open up to them, but in a calm and respectful way. The fact is that your boyfriend is the father of their grandchild and nothing is going to change that, so maybe they will start accepting him being part of your life. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Bianca
      Mon, 01 Apr 2013 at 01:16

      My name is Bianca and I’m 16, 5 months pregnant, and live in California. I was wondering if there is any jobs I should avoid being pregnant because I’m looking.
      Dear Bianca: We’re glad that you are asking about this and wanting to protect you and your baby’s health. You should talk to your doctor about his as he/she will be able to advise you on jobs to avoid while being pregnant especially based on you and your baby’s current health status. If you don’t have a doctor, contact Planned Parenthood for answers to your pregnancy related questions. Certain jobs like working with hazardous materials, industrial work and jobs that require heavy lifting will most likely need to be avoided; however, these jobs are often off limits for minors anyway. Good luck and take care.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • KENYA
      Wed, 24 Apr 2013 at 10:25

      I am 17 im currently pregnant with my boyfriend who is 24. we plan on getting married with my fathers consent . After we do get married is there anything that can happen to him in legal actions if i was pregnant before the marriage. But now the marriage is finalized? Idaho is the state i live in
      Dear Kenya: Most states have laws regarding the age of majority and what constitutes statutory rape. Under Idaho law, the age of majority is 18. Take a look at Idaho law 18-6101 for the definition of statutory rape. It is up to local prosecutors whether to file formal charges or not when they become aware of potential offenders. You can also speak with a local lawyer about these concerns. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Haley
      Mon, 13 May 2013 at 05:47

      I am 15 years old , soon to be 16 in July. I am pregnant and I am due July 25th. I live in Michigan, and as a child I got token into custody when I was 8, by my oldest sister. Am I considered my own adult now? What are my rights in a situation like this?
      Dear Haley: You are not considered emancipated or free from your guardian just because you’re pregnant or after you have the baby. As a teen parent, you will have rights and responsibilities concerning the care of your baby, but you’re still a minor which means that your older sister gets to continue making decisions about your well being. If you want to be free from her, perhaps you could try talking to her. Let her know how you feel and what exactly you would like to see happen, where you would like to live, etc. If you feel that you can’t talk to her, we strongly encourage you to talk to another adult you trust like a relative, teacher or school counselor. Finally, you can check out this site for more information about emancipation laws in your state. Take care of yourself and your baby.

    • Brittney
      Sat, 18 May 2013 at 11:51

      I am currently 17, 18 next april, 1 month pregnant with a 24 year olds baby. I live in wisconsin with my mother and my mother is not comfortable with me having sex, let alone with a 24 year old, so i think she would call the cops and have him arrested. I dont want to ruin his life, but i am not open to abortion. I heard that you can get married in georgia without parents concent if you have a doctors report saying that you are pregnant. Is that true? What other options are there? If i talk to my mom and she is willing to not call the cops will he still goto jail for sagitory Rape even if she doesnt report him? Is there any way to just not tell them who the father is? Im so lost with this….Help?!
      Dear Brittney: We don’t provide legal advice to our readers but we can refer you to the laws that you are asking about. Here is information from Findlaw.com about marriage in Georgia: http://statelaws.findlaw.com/georgia-law/georgia-marriage-age-requirements-laws.html
      We suggest you speak with a local counselor about your options. Planned Parenthood has information for teen mothers that you can obtain. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Stephanie
      Sun, 26 May 2013 at 12:12

      I am 15 and pregnant and live in south carolina by the time I have my baby I will be 16 and I want to know if I can move out? Also if it is possible that my parents gain custody of the baby once its born?
      Dear Stephanie: You are not considered emancipated or free from your parents just because you’re pregnant or after you have the baby. As a teen parent, you will have rights and responsibilities concerning the care of your baby, but you’re still a minor which means that your parents get to continue making decisions about your well being. That being said, you will be responsible for your baby and have custody unless your parents take legal action to have custody or be the guardians. Perhaps you could try talking to them about how you feel and what your plans are. If they are willing to let you live with someone else, or make other changes to make you happy at home, then there shouldn’t be a problem. If you feel that you can’t talk to them, we strongly encourage you to talk to another adult you trust like a relative, teacher or school counselor. Take care of yourself and your baby. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Brianna
      Mon, 27 May 2013 at 11:08

      How do you get emancipated? My step father is physically abusive and a drunk. I need out. I live in IL
      Dear Brianna: Illinois is one of the states that has an emancipation law. However it’s not easy to become an emancipated minor. You have to show the court you’re financially independent and able to make mature decisions about all aspects of your life. You can either Google Illinois emancipation law” or go to your local library and ask to see Illinois law 750 ILCS 30/1. We’re sorry to hear about things at home with your stepfather. Maybe you can talk with your Mom about this so she can do something to help you out. If you can’t talk to your Mom, you need to talk to an adult you trust like another relative, school counselor or teacher. Finally, you can report the abuse even anonymously to the Child Protective Services hotline at 1-800-422-4453. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Evellinda Sermeno
      Wed, 19 Jun 2013 at 10:41

      Im sixteen years old I live on austin tx. I turn 17 in september but my baby is due in august. My boyfriend is already 17 is he able to get custady of our son. And I akso wanted to know if I have the right to namr my baby instead of my mother.
      Dear Evellinda: Teen parents have equal rights to custody and visitation with their children. It would be best to sit down and discuss the upcoming birth of your child with your parents and your boyfriend’s parents. Working out these important matters is better than going through the frustration, expense and time involved by going to court. The decision about naming the baby belongs to you and the baby’s father. Good luck and stay healthy.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Gigi
      Sat, 22 Jun 2013 at 05:57

      Hi Judge,
      I am currently 16 turning 17 in September and I live in the state of Florida. I have a couple of questions for you. I have been living with my man for 2 years, where not married yet but where saving up. My both legal parents are aware of our relationship and us living together for basically 2 years. They never disagreed about us. He’s currently 19 and we’ve have been paying many bills together and we have the same adult responsibilities as an adult would have as in our car, phone bills, house bills, our expenses and we have the same bank accounts. Our both family are aware of all this as well and they are happy of us. But I am aware I’m going to just turn 17. My questions is that we currently moved in my parents in law house and my father now is disagreeing. My father has my custody but I rarely see him nor I have not been living with him for 2 years now. He’s always been ok with us till now that where saving for our own place. I might be pregnant and I have concerns if my father could stop us because of his selfishness ways. My fiancé works for wells cargo company and is about yo get paid 15 an hour. Where fanacially fit and I had a steady job but left it do to change of city. I’m te applying at new places but I wanted to know if there’s anyway my father could interfere? My mom think my father is doing wrong to us. Where engage. I had gotten pregnant once but I had a miscarriage :( Can you please help us Judge I appreciate it
      Dear Gigi: If you and your parents don’t work this new arrangement out, you can look into your state’s emancipation laws. Since you’ve been living independent for the past two years with your parents’ knowledge and continue to be financially responsible for your bills, the court may make you an emancipated minor. It’s not an easy status to obtain because of what you have to prove to the court. Also your parents have a right to object and the court takes that into consideration as well. It would be best to reach an agreement with your parents regarding your baby and living arrangements. Google “Florida emancipation laws” for information. As a minor you’re required to obey your parents including where you live, but your situation is different since you’ve been away from home for the past two years as you say. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Bris
      Tue, 25 Jun 2013 at 06:59

      I’m 17 years old and my boyfriend is 16 years old, we ran away because I was pregnant and his parents didnt want me to be at their house because of my pregnancy, so we are living on our own and his parents pressed charges on me for making him run away when in reality he simply didnt want me to be alone so he run away to be with me, can they do that?
      Dear Bris: Your boyfriend’s parents can report you to the police and then the police may follow up with an investigation depending on the circumstances and the laws in your state. Because you are both minors, you both could face consequences for running away. Perhaps if you could talk with both your parents about this and get them to understand that you are being responsible and able to take care of yourselves, they may be more agreeable to giving you both some independence or reconsider you living with them. You want to be sure to be living in a safe environment when the baby comes and not have to worry about being arrested. Finally, you can click here for information about emancipation in your state as another option. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Manuel
      Mon, 01 Jul 2013 at 11:05

      Hi judge, I have a question.. My girlfriend is 17 years old and she is pregnant, she’s about to be 18 in 4 months, and I am 19 years old… You think I still get in trouble with her Mom concern?? Thanks… :(
      Dear Manuel: Since she is still a minor, yes you may be out of favor with her mother. As long as your girlfriend lives at home, the law requires her to listen to her mother. So, she could bar you from seeing her even though she’s pregnant. You may have to wait until she turns 18 and is legally an adult. Good luck and do the right thing regarding your baby.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Charlie
      Sat, 06 Jul 2013 at 09:47

      Please help. I’m 22 my girlfriend is 4 months shy of her 18 birthday and pregnant. She is currently at a program and they are not giving her premeridal vitamins nor are they concerned with her health and well being. They are not allowing me to see her AT ALL and I want to and feel the need to take care of her. Her PO is going to great lengths to keep her away from me. I want to see her and comfort her and I’m not being aloud too do so. They won’t even let her call me. I want her living with me everyone consents to this as well as her mother but the PO supposedly has the last word. What do I do?? What can I do to fight against this?
      Dear Charlie: We don’t provide legal advice to teens or adults. AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for & about teens and the laws that affect them.
      Since your girlfriend has a probation officer, she’s under the jurisdiction of a court. Her placement is likely court-ordered or with the consent of her parents or guardian. Until she turns 18 and is no longer under the court’s jurisdiction, there’s little you can do about seeing her or being involved in her life. You can talk with a lawyer who practices juvenile law for advice. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • TeenMom
      Sat, 20 Jul 2013 at 05:46

      Hello Judge Tom,
      I am in need of a fairly quick answer. I was involved in a 2 year relationship with my boyfriend. He was my first boyfriend ever. I gave in to pressure around 1 1/2 years into our relationship. The sexual relationship took place in his parents home and they were aware of it. I became pregnant even though he was suppose to be using condoms. He admitted to his parents and mine that he took the condom off on purpose when it was determined I was pregnant. My parents were furious because we were both only 14 at the time the sexual relationship began. Even so, my parents stood by me and helped me through my pregnancy and are helping to take care of my son. The father and his family now pretend I don’t exist or the baby even though they facilitated the sexual relationship in their home. Both he and his parents treated me like family and I thought they loved me so I am shocked at how badly they have treated me and his son and their grandson. When my Mom asked why they would facilitate a sexual realtionship between teens without discussing with her, they said that they started having sex at that age and thought that as long as we were using protection. My Mom was very upset and thinks they are about the most irresponsible people she has ever met. We are Catholic and in fact my Uncle is a Priest. The father’s mother also berated me for more than 3 hours one night to have an abortion. After that my Mom would not allow me to step foot in their house again, not that I would want to. I love my baby very much, but I also feel badly that my parents are paying for everything. I just turned 16 and the father is 5 months younger than me and is only 15. I live in the State of Virginia and filed for medicaid, so my baby does have health insurance. Unfortunately due to my family’s income, I don’t qualify for any other assistance in the State of Virginia, such as discounted childcare, etc. My pregancy has had a huge financial impact on our family. I have a twin sister and my father is retired and has a severe heart condition so only my Mom works. It doesn’t seem to matter what expenses my Mom has to take care of for our family, her income automatically disqualifies me for any assistance for childcare or to help pay for my medical bills that were not covered by my Mom’s insurance. It is literally thousands of dollars since I had to have a C-section. I feel really guilty about the financial impact this has had on my family and can’t believe his family feels absolutely no responsibility. I invited the father to be part of the pregnancy, be there when he was born, etc., but they did not show up even though the baby’s father had his Mom text me and say they will be there. My Mom wanted him to go through counseling with me, but his mother refused and would not allow him to even talk to me. My baby is fatherless on his birth certificate because he did not show up at the hospital. The State of Virginia served papers to us both for paternity since I filed for Medicaid. I know he is the father as I’ve never had a relationship with anyone else and he obviously knows he is the father as does his parents. Our court date is next Thursday. We’ve been advised by friends to show up with an attorney, but my Mom just can’t afford it. They all want a $3,000 retainer. Can you tell me What I can expect in the court hearing which will take place in like the Juvenile & Family Division? Any advice since I can’t afford an attorney. Also, since the State of Virginia considers my Mom and our household income available to my child and me, shouldn’t his family’s income be considered to pay child support and help with their grandson’s expense. It seems really unfair that only my family would be impacted financially. On a positive note, the baby’s great grandparents asked to see him on the father’s side and have seen him and want to be involved with his life. I think they are actually ashamed of their grandson and his parents at this point. I was very close with his entire family after dating for 2 years, so their treatment has been very hurtful to me and I feel really badly how this has impacted our family even though my parents and entire family never complain and absolutely love my son. Thanks for any help you can provide.
      Dear teen Mom: There is a reason the state is seeking a paternity determination. That is to recover or help offset the Medicaid or other state benefits you or your baby may receive. Every state has child support laws that include teen parents. Usually, the teen’s parents are legally responsible to support the child as well as the teen, if he or she is able to work, even part time. You may not need a lawyer because, in effect, the state is representing its interests and yours indirectly. Once paternity is established your state laws kick in regarding the financial responsibility of the father. If you Google “Virginia teen parent and child support” you may find additional information. When you go to court next week you and your parents can talk with the state’s attorney about this. Take good care of your baby and all the best to you.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Amber
      Tue, 30 Jul 2013 at 03:17

      Im 17 and my boyfriend is 19, im currently carrying his child and he recently got arrested. His family is refusing to keep me informed of all legal matters and refusing to tell me anything thats going on. Do i have any legal rights to be kept informed? I feel as though i should because the outcome will affect both me and the child.
      Dear Amber: Under the laws in most states, a girlfriend (pregnant or not) has no legal rights over the boyfriend or information about them. Once the baby is born that’s another matter. Child support is owed by both parents regardless of marriage. Check with a local family law attorney for details in your state. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • mommy2be
      Thu, 08 Aug 2013 at 11:32

      I am 17 and only about 5 weeks pregnant. My boyfriend is 20. We live in Connecticut and I believe that makes our relationship illegal only by a month. (How silly right?) I will be 18 when I give birth. Will Our age difference cause legal issues? What can I do to help this situation?
      Dear mommy2be: It appears that the age of consent in Connecticut is 16, which means that you don’t need to worry about there being any legal issues as you are of the legal age to consent to sexual activity. However, you may want to Google your state’s law (just type out the statute – § 53a-71 (a)(1)), to be sure that the law is still current. Good luck and please take care of yourself and your baby.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Payton
      Thu, 08 Aug 2013 at 07:21

      Hi I’m 17 an pregnant I’ll be 18 in 2 months. I live in Georgia and I was wondering if f you could tell me my rights and If I withdraw from. School will be taken from me?
      Dear Payton: According to this document, the legal drop out age in Georgia is 16. That means that compulsory attendance laws mandating school attendance end once a student becomes 16. However, you may want to Google “Georgia compulsory attendance laws” to verify that the law is still current. Finally, staying in school or looking at alternative options such as online programs may be worth the effort especially since you will soon be responsible for raising a baby. An education is always a valuable asset to have for future opportunities. Good luck and take care.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Kennedy
      Mon, 12 Aug 2013 at 10:01

      Dear Judge,
      I am 17 and I am currently 7 months pregnant, I need some advice on moving out of my parents house. I want to move in with my boyfriend and his parents is there anything I could do? I want to avoid taking my parents to court.
      Dear Kennedy: Since you’re 17, pregnant and going to be an adult soon, perhaps you could try talking to your parents about your desire to move in with your boyfriend and his parents. Try sitting down with them and having a calm, mature conversation about the matter. If they’re willing to let you move in with him, then there shouldn’t be a problem. If they disagree with your wishes, then there isn’t much you can do until you become an adult (18 in most states) or if you become emancipated, then you would be considered legally free from your parents. Good luck and take care.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • lonnie
      Wed, 14 Aug 2013 at 10:42

      i live in Michigan and was wondering if my step daughters child support would stop being she is 17 almost 18 and now pregnant.
      Dear Lonnie: You’ll have to look to the court orders concerning your husband’s child support for his daughter. Just because she is pregnant does not mean that she is emancipated or now legally free from her parents. Child support may be required even after a minor turns 18. Good luck to you and your family.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Kaleah
      Mon, 09 Sep 2013 at 03:37

      Hi my name is Kaleah I live in Michigan I’m 15 and recently found out that I was pregnant. My mom was supportive at first but now she’s a little iffy she tells me one thing then another. She keeps threatening to take my baby away I wanted to know if I have any rights because I’m so young if you would please help. Thank you.
      Dear Kaleah: Yes, you do have rights as a teen mom. However, they vary from state to state. We suggest you contact a local Planned Parenthood to learn about your rights or juvenile court in your area. Good luck and stay healthy for yourself and your child.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • gabby
      Mon, 16 Sep 2013 at 06:59

      hi judge,
      Im 16 and pregnant but will be 17 in march and the baby is due in february. im working and will be able to afford an apartment with my boyfriend who is 19 and have my own medical coverage and am finishing up school but my dad is still refusing to let me move out but i really feel i need to and that thats whats best. What are the chances of me getting emancipation if i file for it? I live in rhode island.
      Dear Gabby: In any emancipation proceeding, the parents have a right to be notified and given a chance to be heard by the court. So if your father opposes your emancipation, he will be able to explain why to the judge and, ultimately, it’s the judge’s decision. You have to be able to show the court you’re mature and able to make adult decisions about all aspects of your life. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Katie Dillard
      Sat, 21 Sep 2013 at 01:08

      I’m 16 years old and my mom is making me have an abortion and I’m totally against it. Legally can she make me get and abortion?
      Dear Katie: At AsktheJudge.info we don’t provide legal advice to our readers whether teen or adult. We are an education site about teen rights & responsibilities. You have to look to the laws in your state about abortion and what rights as a teen-mom you have. Parents come into the picture since you’re underage and can influence this decision. In order for the abortion to be done your consent will be needed as well as your parent or parents depending on how the law that applies to you reads. You can obtain advice about this from your local health clinic or organizations such as Planned Parenthood. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Devon
      Tue, 22 Oct 2013 at 11:52

      Hi I’m 20 and my girlfriend is 16 turning 17 in a couple months she’s pregnant and we live in California. Her parents are very supportive and want me there to take care of the baby when it comes which is what I planned on doing anyways. My question is can I sign the birth certificate without getting in trouble and going to jail?
      Thank you
      Dear Devon: You’ll have to check with the hospital where the mother will have the baby. They have their own policies regarding the completion of birth certificates. If the mother names you as the baby’s father and you’re there to complete the form, you may be able to sign it even though you’re not married. Also, you could try contacting your local Planned Parenthood as they may be able to further assist you. Good luck and congratulations.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Jordan
      Thu, 05 Dec 2013 at 06:08

      Hi judge,

      I’m 17 years old and my boyfriend and his family are very supportive of our pregnancy being that his parents were teen parents as well. My main point is that my parents, on the other hand, are strongly against my pregnancy and are constantly trying to make me have an abortion or give up the baby. I’m 6 weeks along and they’ve even gotten to the point where they are threatening to force me to abort the pregnancy. My question is: by law, are my parents able to force me to terminate or give up the child? Is there anything I can do? I’m against abortion, what are my parental rights? I’ve searched all over the internet and haven’t yet found the answer I’m looking for. Please help!
      Dear Jordan: You have to look to the laws in your state about abortion and what rights as a teen mom you have. Parents come into the picture since you’re underage and can influence this decision; however, no one can force you into having an abortion. Even as a minor you have a constitutional right over any decisions concerning the fetus. In order for an abortion to be done your consent will be needed as well as your parents depending on how the law that applies to you reads. For more information based on the laws in your state, check our Resource Directory (click on your state) under the Teen Health category or try talking to another adult you trust like a school counselor or even a pregnancy resource center in your area. Please take care of yourself and good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Jessie
      Tue, 10 Dec 2013 at 02:49

      Hi, well for starters I am currently 17 but will turn 18 in a couple months. I just found out that I am most definitely pregnant and need to know 1.) Can my boyfriend, who is in on this very confidently, get know trouble? He is 4 years older than I. And 2.) Will I need parental consent to be able to move in with him to make things easier for us? A little back ground for you, my mother, who I live with at the moment is a bit controlling and abusive. She has hit me multiple times leaving a few bruises here and there. If she found out I was pregnant, I would probably be beaten more to a pulp and won’t be able to feel much afterwards. Its a hard life for me to be with her. Have actually gotten in quite a few arguments which she has said that I am legally her responsibility therefore I can’t move out until I turn 18. Yes, I do plan on graduating. I have a steady job and have more ways of getting money. Not to mention that my boyfriends parents love me and are very supportive as he is in this matter. I would love to have as much information on these questions and any that you think would be beneficial to my situation. Thank you.
      Dear Jessie: First, congratulations on the baby – stay healthy for both of you.
      Regarding your boyfriend getting into trouble, it’s unlikely but the laws in every state differ as to minors and sexual conduct. Plus someone would have to actually file a complaint to instigate an investigation into possible charges. Google the name of your state and “sexual conduct with a minor” for the laws on this.
      We’re sorry to hear of your home situation. Maybe you can discuss your living arrangements with your mother and see if she’ll agree to a move to your boyfriend’s home. Since you’re close to turning 18, she may allow you to move out a few months early. It may depend on how you approach the subject. Discuss this with others you trust. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Tori
      Tue, 14 Jan 2014 at 09:58

      I was just wondering about my rights as a pregnant 16 year old well this is what’s going on my mom kicked me out 2 times now and she is lying and saying she never did. I can’t rely on her anymore, I don’t know what to do about this. I tried talking to my school but they said I have to go back because she wants me back. Now she said I have to go to counciling with her I really don’t have any time for counciling that I don’t even need. I don’t know what to do.
      Dear Tori: As long as you’re under 18, you’re required by law to obey your parents or legal guardian. Other wise you could be charge with what’s called incorrigible behavior that may land you in juvenile court. Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you’re an adult with the rights that adults enjoy (unless you’re an emancipated minor which is a difficult status to obtain). Discuss your concerns with your mom and you may reach an agreement that you both can live with. Good luck and stay healthy for your sake and your baby’s.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Karen
      Thu, 27 Feb 2014 at 04:49

      Im 17 and pregnant again I already have a 2 year old can I go to my doctor with out my mom or does she have to go..
      Dear Karen: That depends on the laws in your state. Every state has laws about minors receiving medical care with and without parental consent. Google the name of your state and “teen medical consent” for information. You can also contact your local Planned Parenthood office and ask. Good luck & stay healthy.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • a
      Sun, 23 Mar 2014 at 08:44

      Hi judge my children were taken away from me by dhs in 2007 and put in foster care then I wasn’t stable enough to get them back they then went to live with my aunt who now has guardianship of them. What would I have to do to get them back”
      Dear A: AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for and about teens and the law. You could try contacting a local family law attorney to help assist you with the process. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation. Also, your local court may offer a free legal assistance program where you could meet briefly with a pro bono attorney. Finally, your local legal aid office may be able to assist as well as they often provide assistance for family law matters. You can check our Resource Directory for a legal aid office near you. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Jess
      Sun, 06 Apr 2014 at 01:04

      Im 16 turning 17 soon & i might be pregnant, My boyfriend & I are 4yrs apart, we have talked about our situation and if i am pregnant, he would like to be in the room & sign as the father. I heard the hospital would be fine unless my parents pressed charges against him which they wouldn’t because they approved of his age already. But I was wondering Is this true? Or would he definatly get into trouble. Living in texas. Thanks
      Dear Jess: We don’t know whether the hospital would contact the police based on your circumstances. As you know, the hospital probably has a policy on this. You could try contacting the labor and delivery department of the hospital to see if you can get your questions/concerns answered. You could also check our Resource Directory for help with pregnancy related questions. Please take care of yourself and your baby. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Kaeleigh
      Sun, 01 Jun 2014 at 02:59

      I’m currently 15 years old, I live in Michigan, and I just found out that I am pregnant.. My babys father is 15 also and we will both be 15 when the baby is born in Feb. will my boyfriend get arrested for being a minor? If so.. How long? and how much would bail cost? My parents would never support me or him, and I cant get emancipated until beginning of July,which is 5 months after the baby is born.. My boyfriends parents offered to let me move in with them because me and my parents already dont get along…
      Dear Kaeleigh: You will have to find out the age of consent laws in your state to know when you can legally consent to sex. Most likely you are under age and violated the age of consent law, however, it’s extremely unlikely that your boyfriend would be arrested since it is not a “statutory rape” case (meaning he’s an adult while you’re a minor). As for living with him and his parents, your parents would have to agree to this arrangement since you’re under 18 and not emancipated. Perhaps you could try sitting down with them and having a calm, mature conversation about what would be best for you and your baby. Please check our Resource Directory and the resources under Teen Health – Pregnancy for resources in your area. Please take care of yourself and your baby.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Melissa
      Tue, 03 Jun 2014 at 09:17

      Dear judge, im going to be 17 years old in three months i just found out im pregnant but the father may be 26 years old. is this illagel? Is he going to go to jail? Or do i have legal rights to move out?
      Dear Melissa: The age of consent laws in your state determine the legal age when a person can consent to sex. In many states, the age is 16 so your relationship with the baby’s father would not be illegal if that is the law in your state. You can find out the laws in your state here, but be sure to confirm that the information provided is current. As for moving out, your parents are still legally responsible for you and get to make the decisions about your upbringing. Unless you are emancipated, you are still under their authority. However, if they agree with your plans and let you move out, then there shouldn’t be a problem. Take care of yourself and your baby. Good luck.
      (Check our Resource Directory for more help and resources in your area. This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • ALICE
      Mon, 30 Jun 2014 at 08:43

      Both parents are 17 years old.Mom was keeping dad from the baby however they now want to be together and share custody. If the teenage mom has no issue’s with the babies father seeing him and being a part of his life do the teenage mothers parents still have a right to step in the middle and not allow this to happen even if the teenage mother wants to have the father see their baby?
      Dear Alice: As the birth father of the child, he has equal rights with the mother to custody and visitation with his child as well as the responsibility to support the child. If the mother’s parents are preventing him from seeing the baby, he may want to speak with a local family law attorney in his area. Thanks for asking.
      (Check our Resource Directory for more help and resources in your area. This is information only – not leg

    • WorriedTeenMom
      Tue, 01 Jul 2014 at 04:03

      I wrote to you before and you gave some helpful advice. I was 15 pregnant and my boyfriend’s mother at the time tried to make me have an abortion. When I would not do that, she tried to convince me to give my baby away. When I wouldn’t do that she had her son (the father to my baby) cut off all contact with me and immediately hated our family even though we dated for 2 years and his parents facilitated our sexual relationship in their home. My parents did not know about it and were obviously really upset when they found out and found out I was pregnant but were completely supportive and helped me to see I could continue my education, go to college and make it all work, but it was going to be tough. My son is doing great and a very happy baby. My parents have been very supportive of us and I am doing really well in high school and a rising senior with over a 4.0 GPA. My baby is now 15 months old and the father wants to be involved, but only after my son’s GAL went out and met with him at his school without his mother present. He sees him through supervised visits now for 1 1/2 hours a week. His parents are not allowed to see him yet, but the Grandmother wants access to him and was angry when the courts did not approve of it yet. I am really scared she will try and harm him. My parents are fighting hard to keep my baby and me protected with the supervised visits, but I am afraid the court will eventually let him have access to the baby in his home even though his mom basically tried to force me to kill or get rid of my baby. My parents have spent a fortune trying to keep him safe and yet give his father access. We’ve never cut him off and I would text him throughout my pregnancy to let him know how the baby is doing and invited him to be there for the birth. He didn’t show up. He just met his 15 month old son 5 weeks ago. There are also serious concerns about his life style. His parents allowed him to drink (starting at the age of 14), he posts on social media about drug usage and very sexual inappropriate comments. My parents are worried sick about their family environment and doing everything they can afford legally to keep Hayden in supervised visits. What can I do to protect my baby if my parents can’t keep stalling access in their home? Why would a judge even think of putting him in a home where she knows there is drugs & alcohol abuse by minors and adults and the grandmother wanted the baby to just be gone. I am so worried. Any advice you can share would be helpful.
      Dear Worried: AsktheJudge.info is an education site for & about teens and the laws that affect them. We don’t provide legal advice to teens or adults. And that’s what you need.
      Family law regarding custody, visitation and child support is based on state laws. A lawyer who represents you as the mother of the child would be able to assist you. Many provide free initial consultations and you should ask about this if you contact one. You can also take a look at our Resource Directory for a lawyer in your area. Good luck.

    • Megan
      Thu, 17 Jul 2014 at 10:29

      I am 17, going to be 18 next month and I just found out that I am pregnant. The father of my child is 20, going to be 21 in December. My dad is a cop and I am scared he will to try arrest him, is it illegal, it was completely consensual sex.
      Dear Megan: States have their own laws regarding consensual sex and age limits (age of consent laws). If you google “age of consent” and the name of your state, you’ll find information to answer your question. Most likely 17 and 20 does not constitute a crime, but you have to look to your state’s specific law on this. Good luck and stay healthy. Also, check our Resource Directory under Teen Health for additional resources in your area.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

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