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Runaway Status Through Airports

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  • Runaway Status Through Airports

    Hi. I am 17 years old and my dad is in the US military stationed in Japan. My family lives with my dad. I have came out a few years ago and they told me that I am not supported anymore. They want to however, keep me to "change me straight".

    After I graduate high school I plane to buy a plane ticket to LAX and stay at a friend's place until I find a job. I found that in California I do not need a work permit/parent consent to get a job.

    If I go on the plane and go to LAX, am I okay? If my parents contact the local police will my runaway status appear when I go through customs? (is that the thing where I gotta go through in an airport?). I have a US passport. I am in Japan through SOFA status.

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thanks for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. We're sorry to hear that your family want to "change you straight", sounds like that might be a scary experience.

    We're not legal experts here so it's hard to say what could potentially happen if you decided to fly to LAX by yourself, especially the international and military aspect of this scenario. When it comes to leaving home without your parents' permission, that can be tricky. Normally leaving home before the age of 18 is not allowed. Running away is not illegal, but it is considered a status offense. This means that your parents have the legal right to file a runaway report if you left home, but you would not be arrested and it would not go on your record. Since you are planning to go after you graduate high school, you might be 18 and most of this information will not be relevant. If that is the case, you can leave without your parents permission without police involvement or anyone getting into any trouble. This differs from police department to police department though, so your best bet would probably be to call your local police department to see what exactly they would do in your situation. We aren't legal experts when it comes to things like what could happen if you went through customs.

    Take care,

    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)
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