Urgent Legal Help Needed: Asylum for a Minor

by kitties_and_horses_oh_my! 36 Replies latest jw friends

  • kitties_and_horses_oh_my!

    I'm going to be very vague and stick to just the most essential details (for reasons you will see):

    I am aware of a 17 year old (parents are dubs, he doesn't want to be but is forced to go to mtgs) who has been suicidal and asked a friend to come and get him from his home. He left a note to his parents saying he is safe, etc., but his parents are already fairly sure of where he is. Before my friend replies, does the 17-year old have any rights? His home is very unstable and his sister feels she was emotionally and verbally abused; however, she is no longer living at home so it would not necessarily be proof of anything in court. He really needs some time out away from his controlling and manipulative parents and I'm hoping and praying (?) that someone out there will be able to help. Thank you very much in advance. If you'd like to speak more specifically, please send me a msg and we can speak privately. Once again, thank you all for your generous hearts in helping someone who is truly in need. Much love, Kitties

  • obiwan

    I'm not sure, but he may be able to admit himself to a physc ward, because of his suicidal tendencies. If he admits himself, then he can also leave when he wants. I know this sounds extreme, but that's about all I could come up with.

  • metatron

    I hesitate to suggest this because even the deluded parents deserve a measure of compassion.

    In many areas, a claim of physical/sexual abuse made to social welfare authorities, may get the kid removed

    to a foster care home temporarily. I've seen it happen. You need to talk to them.


  • cruzanheart

    Metatron has a good idea. Another one is for him to call his local Suicide/Crisis Hotline. They can offer advice. If he really wants to play hardball, he can call Child Protective Services and make a complaint.

    Please keep us posted on his progress. If you can, please tell him that we are all cheering him on to feel better and get the help he needs. Please tell him that his situation isn't hopeless and he has a long, wonderful, interesting life ahead of him once he gets over this hurdle. Please tell him he is loved.


  • drwtsn32

    Thanks for your replies so far!

    One other question: if the parents demand that the 17 year old be returned to their custody, can the child refuse? Or does the law side with the parents? (Short of accusing them of abuse, etc.)

  • Elsewhere

    Have him contact the ACLU as quickly as possible... they might be able to find a lawyer who will represent him pro-bono.

  • Yerusalyim

    There are also some free law firms (In Illinois it's Land of Lincoln Legal aide). He can apply for emancipation. The Social Service route is probably the best.

  • Frannie Banannie
    Frannie Banannie

    I agree, Yerus.....Child Protective Svcs and emancipation is the best course to pursue....

    Frannie B

  • metatron

    Check with local folks at ToughLove - they often have experience with emancipation of kids that can't be controlled

    ( a somewhat different circumstance - but useful anyway)

    Emancipation varies according to where you live. In some places, it can only be declared as a court defense

    if the kid has a job and thereby proves they can support themselves before age 21. Some phone calls

    to social services and web searches in regard to your state will help.


  • LeslieV

    First I am not what state this child is located, but in all states their are youth runaway shelters. They can keep a child without parental consent. You need to call either Catholic Chaities or the Salvation Army they will give you the number of the nearest youth shelter. At all youth shelters Child Protection will be called into the case. They will investigate, and if the case is deemed founded they will immancipate this 17 year old. In NYS we have apartments that are supervised for youth. Also at all shelters there are counselors that will find out the mental health status of this child. Good luck keep us posted.


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