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I'm 17 and I want to be emancipated and move in with my friend

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  • I'm 17 and I want to be emancipated and move in with my friend

    I'm 17 years old, and I live in Illinois. I've had numerous deaths in my family, and I now live with my brother, his fiance, and 2 other kids. At first things were going well but now things are not turning out well, and I don't want to stay with them anymore. They said they refuse to take care of me, and they say that they are going to turn me into foster care. I spoke with my friend, and his mom, and they would actually love for me to stay with them. They would even go through legal processing to make it all happen, but when I spoke to my brother and his fiance (It was very difficult to do) they immediately rejected it and said that either I will suffer with them or I am going into foster care. They are claiming that I can't be emancipated because I am a warden of the state, but I don't believe that is true. I'm running out of options and honestly, don't know what to do. Please help.

  • #2
    Thanks for writing in. It sounds like you’re in a really stressful situation and it’s not okay that your family has treated you this way. You deserve to feel happy and safe in your own home and to be loved. It’s great that you’ve thought of options like asking your guardians to move out and finding a place to potentially stay, as well as pursuing emancipation. That shows a lot of motivation, maturity, and forethought. While we’re not legal experts, we can share what we’ve learned from experience.
    You mentioned emancipation. This is generally a long process and so it may take longer to go through the process of emancipation than it would take for you to turn 18 (legal age). This may not be the best option.
    You also mentioned that you have a place to stay and that your friend’s mom would “cover” you from the police. We’re glad you have a support system outside of your family situation. Again, we’re not legal experts, but as far as we know 18 is the age at which you can leave home without parental/guardian consent. If you choose to leave home, your guardians have the right to file a runaway report. If the police are able to locate you, they would return you home. Any adult you stay with may be charged with “harboring a runaway.” That being said, we have sometimes seen police choose not to pursue a 17-year-old runaway. This varies from state to state and county to county, so we’re not able to say which police stations have which protocols. If you’d feel comfortable, you can call your local non-emergency police line to ask how they handle 17-year-olds who leave home. If you’re uncomfortable with this, we are also able to make that call and ask for you.
    If you’d like to talk about your situation more specifically, please feel free to reach out to us at 1-800=786-2929. Our lines are open 24/7 if you ever need to talk, brainstorm options, or need help contacting your local police. Best of luck.
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!


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