How did we answer that?
By Paula Simon
We had a younger patron come into the library who was interested in the process to become emancipated from their parents. What is emancipation? According to the Washington County Juvenile department, emancipation means “that a 16- or 17-year-old person can be given certain rights and responsibilities of an adult or 18-year-old person.”
In Washington County, the Juvenile Department handles the initial application for the request and then a judge makes the decision on whether to grant the request. The department has information about the county’s emancipation process. We were able to print forms for the patron from this site. Be sure to check your county’s website for more information as the process may differ from county to county.
We also found other resources for this patron on related topics that may help them understand the process.
The Oregon State Bar has a service called Youth Problem Solvers that gives legal advice and information to people between the ages of 13 to 17.
Oregonlawhelp.org has a resource “Youth Faces the Law – A Juvenile Rights Handbook.” It has some helpful information but was written in 2011.
The non-profit law firm Youth, Rights & Justice has a section on their website on emancipation. They also offer information on other topics of relevance to youth including delinquency, foster care, and homelessness.
There is also a book called What are My Rights?: Q&A about Teens and the Law by Judge Tom Jacobs. This has a section on emancipation that explains it in plain language. This book is not Oregon-specific but covers many legal topics related to teens. Public libraries may have copies of this book to lend to patrons.
Hopefully, this patron can make an informed decision about this process with the resources we helped them find and use.