Parents who have custody of their child have the right to make many important decisions regarding their child’s life and life plans.  But did you know that according to the California Family Code, there are many instances in which children have the legal authority to make important personal decisions without their parents’ consent?  Some of these circumstances include:

  • When a child is 12 or older and seeks medical treatment related to a drug or alcohol problem FC §6929b)
  • When a child is 12 or older and seeks medical treatment for rape.  A medical care professional, however, shall attempt to contact the minor’s parents or guardian, unless he or she reasonably believes the minor’s parents or guardian committed the sexual assault on the minor. (FC §§ 6927, 6928)
  • When a child is 12 or older and seeks medical treatment related to an infectious, contagious, or sexually transmitted disease. (FC § 6926)
  • When a child is seeking medical care related to the care and prevention of pregnancy.  This includes birth control information and devices, and (if the child is deemed sufficiently mature) abortion or any other care, short of sterilization.

Family Code § 6922 makes it easier for youngsters 15 years of age or older to obtain medical care when they show that they are living separate and apart from their parents and managing their own financial affairs.  And of course there’s Family Code § 7002 which dictates that married minors, or minors who have joined the military or have received a formal court decree acknowledging their emancipation, need not confer with their parents regarding any decisions whatsoever.

So if you have questions about your parental or child’s rights, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced family law attorney, one who can help you deal with the law and important decisions involving your family’s well being.

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