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Parental Rights

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  • Parental Rights

    I haven’t lived with my mom for about 9 months now and I was wondering if she could still get the family I’m staying with in trouble. I’m 17 and labeled as a habitual runaway since 14. We had cps involved before, but as the case was closing my mom gave me permission to move in with my grandma (cps is unaware of this) and after about 3 months, my grandma and my mom had conflict leading to me not being able to stay with her anymore. My mom has told me I “can” come back home, but hasn’t specifically told me to come back directly. She also hasn’t contacted any authorities about me being missing.
    I have a much more stable place waiting for me about 2 hours away from my moms, but it’s across state lines. Would my mom still be able to cause problems if I left? Last time police were involved in me being gone, they said there was nothing they could do but hope I come back. Is that still true across state lines? Since I’m 17, will they even care?

  • #2
    Hey there,

    Thanks so much for reaching out and sharing a little bit about what's been going on, we know that it takes a lot of courage. It sounds like your previous living situations have been less than ideal and it must be exhausting moving so frequently. We aren't legal experts here at NRS, but generally speaking, since you are 17, you are considered a minor in all 50 states. This means that your mom (assuming she is still your legal guardian) could file a runaway report, which is essentially a missing person report. Running away is a status offense; this means that it isn’t illegal, but it’s something you can’t do while still a minor. If a runaway report is filed and you are located by the authorities you will most likely be returned home - no matter what state you are located in.

    Since the police have had different reactions to you running away in the past, it may be a good idea to reach out to them directly to see if they would look for you if a runaway report is filed. You can do this by dialing your local nonemergency police line, which is usually 311 (otherwise you can go to to locate your local sheriff's office). It could also be beneficial to reach out to your current (or even former) CPS worker for help.

    If you’d like to go over what’s going on in depth, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can.

    We'd love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to support youth and families. Please click the link below to fill out our survey:

    Stay safe,
    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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