Urgent Legal Help Needed: Asylum for a Minor

by kitties_and_horses_oh_my! 36 Replies latest jw friends

  • gambit

    State differ in their "legal age" concept... It was legal for my son to come and go, anytime of day or night, at the age of 16... even though I assumed legal responsibilty till the age of 18. In fact, if I locked him out, he could file charges against me. For 2 years, I never locked the door to my house and let nature run its course. It was difficult, being the parent on the receiving end, but in the end... he did OK.

    Guess what I'm saying is, as far as the legal issues, have an adult talk to DA's, Atty's, Social Workers, asking what it would take to help the parents get him to go home. (Not as an opponent of the parents... you will get two different stories). You may find that the parents have a very difficult legal issue ahead of them.

    With that said, a lot of concern has already been expressed about the well-being of all parties - mental and physical...
    I would continue to pursue this avenue... ** As I look again to see if Lady Lee posted yet **

    I believe that the parents need counseling prior to, and possibly more so, than the child. This statement is not about JW, but rather, as an adult accepting responsibility and humanity... The kid young man is trying to grow beyond what his parents are capable of supporting. In the end, it may not be about the religion at all (who cares, as long as he is happy)... there is normal rebellion, personal identity, self-respect, and a whole list of emotions he is experiencing without having the coping skills and/or support to handle them.

  • core

    Very sad - if this young person was in the UK a totally different set of principles would be involved and at his current age he would be free to exercise free will with the support of the state etc

  • smurfette

    How sad! A couple of friends of mine (sisters) ran away from home due to a highly emotionally and physically abusive JW stepdad. They were both around 16 or 17 and ran away at different times. In both instances their parents tried to retrieve them, the state got involved, and they went into foster homes until they were 18. In our area the local social workers recognized the problems facing JW kids and were very helpful especially with my friends added issues. Hopefully if the authorities do get involved in his situation they are as helpful as the ones in our area are. There are only 2 kinds of social workers the really good and the really bad, so it's a chance-y situation.

    I personally came from a very emotionally abusive household and stuck it out until I was 18. Not easy but it's over now.

    I would not recommend the institution idea unless he truly is suicidal. I know someone who did exactly that when he was 16 and it was a horrible experience. He wound up with more issues from being in the institution than he had before he committed. Professional counciling is better than an institution in my opinion.

  • Bendrr

    Doc, I went back and re-read the original post after reading all the replies before responding myself.

    10 months away from 18 is close 'nuff considering the situation. Given that the parents have "a good idea" of the young man's whereabouts and he doesn't want or need to go home at this time, the immediate solution would be to relocate him to a different and safer location. From what I've read, he really doesn't need to go home. At least right now anyways.

    Does he have an adequate "support network" that will make sure he has a bed to sleep in and food to eat? If not, I'd recommend getting him in touch with local runaway shelters. Shelters that will give him a safe place to stay and counselors to talk to.

    Sounds like his sister should be involved as well.

    Please keep us advised as to how things are going.


  • Shutterbug

    In Texas I'm almost certain a child can move out at the age of 17, and I suspect most states would have a similar law. At any rate check with a competent lawyer before making any moves which could get you in trouble. Bug

  • kitties_and_horses_oh_my!

    Everyone, thank you so much for your help. The young man has spoken with his sister to a great degree and they have realized that, although his parents are extremely difficult people at times, his behavior was irresponsable and part of his cry for help was to get away from the natural consequences of such. He has a really good heart, and I think with support he'll make it the next ten months. The sister is re-establishing contact with the parents for her brother's sake so she'll be more "in the know" and able to help. I know she really appreciates all of your help. The young man will probably join us on this board when he turns 18, and I know he'll be glad to know how many wonderful people there are "in the world" that are there for him.

    Much love to all,


  • tinkerbell82

    (((((kitties)))) i'm so glad to hear everything's okay for now. he'll certainly have a lot of people here waiting to welcome him to the board :)

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