Many states require parental involvement in a minor’s decision to terminate a pregnancy. In sharp contrast, states overwhelmingly consider minors who are parents to be capable of making critical decisions affecting the health and welfare of their children without their own parents’ knowledge or consent. Nearly every state permits minor parents to place a child for adoption, although some require an adult to be involved in the process in some capacity. Moreover, most states authorize minor parents to make health decisions for their children, and some allow minor parents to authorize surgery.
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- 40 states and the District of Columbia allow minors to place their child for adoption, either explicitly or by making no distinction between minor and adult parents.
- 28 states and the District of Columbia explicitly allow minors to consent to their child’s adoption.
- 12 states make no distinction between minor and adult parents.
- 10 states require the involvement of an adult in the adoption process.
- 5 states require minors to be represented by legal counsel or require courts to appoint counsel in adoption hearings.
- 4 states require minors’ parents to consent, and 1 state requires that the parents be notified, when a child is placed for adoption.
- 30 states and the District of Columbia allow minors to consent to medical care for their children; 20 states have no explicit policy on whether a minor may consent to medical care for their children.
- Northern America: United States
- Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming