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Is moving out without parental consent at 17 legal in Louisiana?

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  • Is moving out without parental consent at 17 legal in Louisiana?

    I’m in Louisiana. I’m currently 16. I’m gay and my parents won’t accept me for who I am, neither will they let me get a job to be able to financially support myself. I could’ve had my license by now but they refused to let me go to driver’s ed and waited until after the virus outbreak to let me go, so I’m not going to have a permit until November. I feel that I’m lacking a lot of freedoms that other people my age have. I’m planning on moving out next year after I turn 17. I know where all my legal documents are stored and I plan on taking them with me so I don’t have future identification issues. I have a friend in New York that I plan on moving into an apartment with. I do school online so I’m just planning on completing high school while living in New York. I also plan on getting a job at a fast food place there to help support us. Is there anything else I should consider or bring? Are there any legal issues that would allow my mother to force me to come back home?

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thank you so much for reaching out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline (NRS). It sounds like you are going through a lot and your parents may make you feel very isolated. We really appreciate you reaching out, we understand asking for help can take a lot of courage. We are not experts on the law, but generally 18 is the age youth are allowed to leave home without parents permission. Generally, parents are supposed to file runaway reports with the police. It is not illegal to leave home, but this means if you were to end up in the custody of the police, you would most likely be returned home. There are also laws called Harboring a Runaway. These laws are meant to hold folks accountable who house youth who have runaway. In a lot of states, 17 is a gray area. Some states will return a 17 year old home and some places will let youth stay where they are if they are safe and supported. The best way to find out what how police in your area would respond is by reaching out to them. You can anonymously reach out to them, or you can give us a call or chat through our website and we can do this for you. Our phone number is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) and you can find our chat by clicking the chat button on our website.

    Leaving home is a big decision and there is a lot to consider. It is always helpful to think about ways you can support yourself and keep yourself safe. Having those identifying documents or an ID can be helpful for finding housing and jobs. If plans with your friend do not work out, you can always give us a call or chat to brainstorm, talk through options, or connect you with resources in your area. There are youth shelters that we may be able to help connect you with if there are any available in your area. We are here to support you in any way that we can. We are open 24/7 and we are completely confidential. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions. We hope to hear from you soon!

    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)


    • #3
      Can someone find out if I would be able to leave at 17 and not be brought right back to my house please. I don't want to call the police and cause a whole scene for me to simply ask to leave


      • ccsmod15
        ccsmod15 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,
        Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It seems there is a lot that you are faced with right now and you’re feeling like leaving is one of your only options. It seems you want to know some information on runaway laws.
        While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without parent permission. If you are under 18 and leave home, your parent/guardian may file you as a runaway and you may be returned home. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions.
        We are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.
        Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); (click on the chat button).
        If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
        Be safe,
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