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  • 18 year old leaving state

    Hello everyone. I’m going to be 18 in a month and wanted to know something. The age of majority in Alabama is 19, but if I were to run away from home and go to a state where the age is 18, would I be able to be brought back?

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us here at NRS. While we are not legal experts, we can speaking generally about this. The age of majority is the age at which you are considered a legal adult with the freedom to choose where you live. If you leave before then and while you are still a minor, your parents or legal guardians can report you as a runaway. Running away is not illegal, but it is a status offense. This means your legal guardians can ask police to return you home if they know where you are staying. Police usually do not actively search for someone who left home willingly. Your parents/guardians can notify people of places you might be staying and ask that they check those places. If you come into contact with law enforcement for another reason, your name would be flagged as a runaway.

    As you mentioned, the age of majority in your state is 19 which means your parents/guardians could still report you as a runaway. Now, there is not a universal way that police handle runaway reports and it can vary state-by-state. What we can't say for sure is if police in a state where the age of majority is 18 would cooperate with a runaway report from Alabama. It could be helpful to call the non-emergency line for the police department where you are planning on going to to ask how they might handle this situation. You can ask if they would still consider you a runaway even though you are of adult age in that state and if they would facilitate you being brought back home.

    We hope this information helps. If you would like to talk more about your situation or you have more questions, please do not hesitate to contact us directly. We are available 24/7 for immediate support by phone at 1-800-786-2929 or through live chat at 1800runaway.org.

    Stay safe and good luck,
    NRS
    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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