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What are my options?

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  • What are my options?

    Hi, I live in Michigan. I’m 16 and adopted. I want to leave home. My parents want to me to leave. There is occasional physical abuse on their part, and psychological and emotional abuse (admittedly) on both sides. There are absolutely no grounds for neglect; I am well provided for. Yet, the relationship itself is mutually destructive and toxic. Therapy is not an option, nor is staying; we are past reconciliation. Although I suffer from mental disorders, I am not (and never have been) involved in anything illegal or anything else extremely serious or troublesome. I am a relatively behaved child. Nevertheless, life is hell for everybody involved and the relationship has met its end. From my research, my options are emancipation, run away, be put up for adoption, boarding school, live with relative/friend, foster care, disownment, suicide (not a real consideration). What I want to know if these are all of the options I have and then I would like to continue continue the conversation and be given advice on the best course of action. Also, if it helps, I’m Russian and Jewish, and don’t mind where I go. Thank you.

  • #2

    It sounds like you have been going through a lot, so we are glad you are reaching out to us because we are here to help. All of the research you’ve done and reaching out to us is a really great step in figuring out your next moves.

    You mentioned physical and psychological abuse going on at home. Although we don’t know everything about your situation, we can let you know that you have the option of reporting abuse with child protective services. If you wanted to know more about abuse reporting, Child Help, the national child abuse hotline at 1-800-422-4453. What happens after reporting can be different in every situation, but they could help you walk through the potential outcomes. One of which could being entered into the system and potentially be relocated or being put back up for adoption.

    You also mentioned suicide as an option. Even though you do not consider it a real consideration at this time, we want you to know that there are people out there who can talk to you about that if it ever becomes a real consideration. Here at the National Runaway Safeline (1-800-786-2929), we have folks here to talk to you about how you are feeling, what’s going on at home, and anything else going on. Another resource is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). They provide 24/7, free and confidential support.

    For your option of emancipation, while we are not legal experts, we can let you know a few pieces of information and resources that might help you sift through your option. There are three circumstances in which a minor is automatically declared emancipated. 1) Upon turning the age of 18. 2) When a minor is legally married. 3). Youth is actively serving in the Armed Forces of the United States. If you do not not meet any of those circumstances, you can file a petition with the court in the Juvenile Unit-Family Division of the Circuit Court in the county where you reside (which should be searchable online). If you visit , there is additional information regarding specific steps to file petition and link to petition form can be found on their site.

    You mentioned that your parents want you to leave. An option is to ask your parents for written permission to leave. If so, you could avoid some of the issues that usually come with running away. Again, while we are not legal experts, we can let you know that while running away isn’t illegal, it is considered a status offense. That means that if you leave without permission, then your parents could file a runaway report and they could press charges against anyone that takes you in. If you have their permission in writing, however, they wouldn’t have the option to press charges and you could live with a friend, relative, or shelter without needing to worry. You also mentioned disownment, while this can mean a very serious thing emotionally and socially, disownment without written consent is considered neglect (which can be reported as abuse). If you do have permission, however, this may also be considered permission in some cases.

    If they do not give you permission to leave with consent, do you think talking to them about foster care or going back into adoption without filing an abuse report would be an option? If you wanted to talk to them with a moderator on the line, we offer a conference call service through the National Runaway Safeline that we mentioned before.

    We’ve discussed a lot of options above, so if you wanted to talk this out in a more immediate way, our hotline is always available.

    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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