Coercion About Your Choices

Though most parents will come around to accepting your choice for your pregnancy, whatever that may be, a few parents will not. It is possible that your parents will try to coerce you into having an abortion or giving your baby up for adoption. While abortion and adoption are perfectly valid options, if they aren’t what you want, nobody can force you to choose them. Nonetheless, your parents do probably have the power to make your life miserable if you don’t follow their idea about what is best. In this case, moving out might be a good choice.

You can do this in an unofficial manner by simply taking up residence in the home of a different relative or a friend. However, you would need your parents’ permission to do this. Otherwise you would be considered a runaway, and you can be arrested for that. If your parents have emotional issues that cause them to be particularly manipulative, you may not even want to move out with their permission — they could easily revoke that permission or lie about ever having given it, and, again, you would be considered a runaway.

Another course of action if you are being coerced is to talk to another adult who could possibly intervene.

A more extreme option, if you know a responsible adult who is willing, would be to petition the court to grant your guardianship to someone of your choice.

A yet more extreme option is to attempt to become an emancipated minor, though this is not even possible in all states.

The most extreme option, if you believe your parents’ coercion to reach abusive levels, is to contact your local Child Protective Services. Keep in mind that, if you are taken into the custody of the state, this will severely complicate your custody of your own child.

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