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Moving out of state at 17?

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  • Moving out of state at 17?

    My family situation is not a good one.My family is not supportive in most areas of my life and my parents are very controlling. It’s not healthy for me and it’s caused a lot of problems. However I turn 17 in 2 days and the only friend I have that will take me in is in Massachusetts which is pretty far from Michigan. I feel It’s better for me to go out of state so my family can’t follow me or try to force me home. I know It’s legal for me to move out at 17 in Michigan, but what if I want To move out of state without parental consent? Is that illegal? Will I be Forced to come home?

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thanks for reaching out to National Runaway Safeline and sharing a little bit about what is going. It takes a lot of courage to reach out and especially in a time where you have a really tough and complex situation at home with not feeling supported from your family. You talked about how you have a friend who will take you in but its far and asked questions about moving out.

    We aren’t legal experts, but we have general knowledge about running away. In most states, running away isn’t illegal, but what is called a status offense. You can’t get arrested for it but it will mostly likely go on your record until you are 18. The police will only know if you have runaway if your parents/guardians file a police report. We can’t say for sure how the police will respond, but we hear a lot that police will take potential places you might be and will actively search for you. If they come across you, the most likely will return you home to your parents. Sometimes we hear that if you are staying with someone who knows you are a runaway and are not actively trying to return you or finding shelter for you, your guardians/or police can press charges against the people who are housing you, with something that is called harboring. One of our main goals is to make sure you are safe, so if you ever seriously decide to run away and need shelter, resources, or a safe place to go you can find safe locations at or reach out to us directly and we can find local resources in your area.

    One you can consider is to see about runaway reporting for 17 year olds is to call into your local non-emergency line and ask them about what there protocols are for 17 years old. If you want us to support you in calling out to us, you can call into us directly.

    We are here for you and will support you in any way that we can. Please feel free to call into us directly as we can talk further about your situation and find resources that are best for you in your area. Stay strong and you are not alone in this! Our number is 1-800-RUNAWAY we are open 24/7.


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