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At what Age is Someone Considered a Legal Adult in the US?

Tricia Christensen
Updated: May 17, 2024

The age at which one is considered a legal adult in the US is typically 18. What defines a legal adult is ability to legally work, participate in contracts, vote, marry, give sexual consent, and join the military. Being a legal adult under 21 does not give one the right in most states to purchase alcohol, however.

The age one becomes a legal adult in the US is largely the age at which most children are considered adults in the world. A few countries set this age lower, but in most of the Western world, one is considered an adult at 18.

In some cases, a child under 18 is a legal adult especially for the purposes of marrying or signing contracts, prior to 18. This is rare and tends to occur if a child sues his or her parents for emancipation. An emancipated child is still a “minor,” however, and may not vote until he or she turns 18.

For many parents the term legal adult does not mean their children possess certain adult characteristics. For example, being an adult implies being able to make mature decisions, participate in civic matters, have self-control, and be responsible. Some 18-year-olds simply lack these characteristics and need further time to develop them. It concerns some parents that an 18-year-old can make life-altering decisions, like marrying early or joining the military, which may not have been made with significant forethought.

There is very little that parents can do to rectify such a situation. Many deplore that they no longer have any type of control over their young legal adult children. Ironically, for the child, perhaps, is that this type of control inherent in being an adult, essentially means a parent has no further legal responsibility to care for you.

Even if a newly legal adult is still in high school, a parent is under no legal pressure, frequently, to continue to provide housing or care. Some exceptions to this rule have been proven, particularly in cases of divorce where a spouse still claims child support, or help with payments for college. Some parents feel that continued financial support really attests to the fact that the child is really not quite an adult yet, regardless of age.

The issue of legal adulthood is a very sticky one for children in foster care. At 18, they essentially age out of the system and the state no longer has the burden of supporting them. In some cases, foster parents will continue to parent a child who is technically an adult. However, some children find themselves adrift at the point when they could most use the help and support of kind adults.

America Explained is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a America Explained contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By anon1002054 — On Aug 26, 2019

It should be 18-20 because 18 is the age you become an legal adult. I'm 12 years old doing research for civics.

By anon992915 — On Oct 11, 2015

This causes much chaos in the home with parents and a teenager under this law. Since our justice system feels the age of 18 is an adult than maybe they should house our children.

By anon982589 — On Dec 21, 2014

My ex son-in-law who is the ex step father of my 21 year old grandson, says that by law in Pa. my grandson is still legally obligated to visit him. Is this true?

By anon947998 — On Apr 28, 2014

I am 17 years old and I have been working two jobs to pay my bills. I still live with my family. Here lately they have no trust in me. They think I'm constantly lying. They follow me to school and work because of the lack of trust.

I pay for all my stuff, and my car and phone are in my name. I have been told as long as I tell one person in my family where I am, that if I leave on my own my parents cannot call the police to bring me back due to the fact that a family member knows.

I went to my local police department and asked and all he told me to do was Google it. All I want to know is if I can legally move out since I pay for my own stuff, have two jobs, my own car and a safe place to stay without being reported as a runaway in the state of Texas.

By anon357207 — On Dec 02, 2013

I just don't understand why 21 has to be the legal drinking age. If we are considered ad adult at 18, we should be able to drink. Especially if 18 is the year we need to start making responsible choices. Let us make the responsible choice to drink then. If I can get married and join the military at 18, I believe I should be allowed to have a glass of wine or a drink with family and friends.

By anon355805 — On Nov 19, 2013

My 17 year old grandson moved with his mom to Nebraska two years ago. He wants to come back to Washington to live.

His home life is very difficult emotionally and physically there. Can he move back without being a runaway?

By anon350826 — On Oct 08, 2013

I want to get emancipated. I have two jobs, I am a senior in high school and I plan on finishing. I have another place to live. All my mom and I have been doing is fighting and she just annoys me, I want to get emancipated before I just run away, I don't want to live with my father because he is never even home. It's his wife and the two kids he had with her. I just want to be on my own.

I make my own money and manage my own money. I just found a phone plan that I can pay for. I am from Massachusetts and I am 17 years old. Can I be emancipated?

By anon347608 — On Sep 08, 2013

@anon332117 and anyone else who thinks that teens behave irresponsibly: they aren't the only ones. Look at adults who behave irresponsibly, like Hitler, Stalin, Castro and countless others, or perhaps drunk drivers. You have to be 21 to buy alcohol and drunk driving has been the leading cause of automobile deaths for the last 20-plus years.

It's not just the teens who have problems. The whole world has problems, so stop blaming the people who can't defend themselves and see that it's you and all the other people, including teens and adults, elders and children, who have problems not just one section.

Take responsibility for your actions and don't hide behind others. Everyone is screwed up. Everyone makes mistakes, including adults and in fact, people make most of their mistakes as adults, since you only spend 12 years as a child, seven years as a teen and about 80 years as an adult. The majority of the mistakes you make will be as an adult. Just something to think about.

By anon345011 — On Aug 14, 2013

I'm 17. I have a job, yet my mom does not. She asks me for money all the time; I make more than she does. I had to drop our to support her. She threw a carpenter's hammer at me this morning because I told her she needed to wait until tomorrow before I could help her paint because of a work related injury.

I'm in contact with a lawyer to get emancipated. Please, someone tell me how this doesn't make sense? My mom is wonderful, but she's not stable right now and I don't want to be an enabler of her issues.

By anon342446 — On Jul 20, 2013

As soon as I turned 18, my parents had me take more responsibility, but I wasn't really considered an adult yet. Than when I started to work when I was 20, then my parents considered me an adult.

I'm still at home but pay rent and everything. Now I'm 30-plus. I think we grow and mature and learn from our mistakes over time.

By anon336983 — On Jun 02, 2013

You kids need to realize that the world will not help you. The world is not your parent. Either you let your parents take care of you, or you take care of yourselves. Moving out of your parents' house is only going to make life harder, and that is pretty much the way of things. Now, if you don't have to move out, don't. If you're being abused, then there are programs out there and there is help out there, but the same rules apply - take care of yourselves - never do anything that is not beneficial to you. Use good judgment.

By anon332117 — On Apr 26, 2013

It is heartbreaking and seems stupid to allow our kids -- parts of our body -- to do whatever they want regardless of the religion, culture, customs and family background. only for the sake of sex.

We raise them, giving our blood, lives. The government must need to revise its rules to fix the age of at least 25 as an adult.

Keeping figures and realities and taking data from society and facts, it's obvious that 90 percent of teens behave irresponsibly. There is a lot of need for improvement and updates People need to speak up for it, before we all lose our beloved kids and nation and its future is nowhere.

By anon331208 — On Apr 21, 2013

I am 17 years old and will be 18 in three and a half months. My parents found my pot two months ago and since then, my life consists of going to school with my mom. (She's a teacher at the high school I attend), my father picking me up for lunch to take me to my college classes in the afternoon and him waiting for me at college to take me home. That's Monday through Friday. On Saturdays, I work 9 AM to 9:30 PM. And Sundays, I stay home all day. I am banned from seeing my friends because they think that they are the influence. I am grounded if I don't go to church, I don't have a vehicle and they are not going to get me one.

I have three thousand dollars saved up in the bank but that's not enough for a reliable vehicle that I can drive an hour away daily to the local junior college in the small town I live in. I need to get out of this house. It's causing me to think about just ending it all. I left for an hour once and they threatened to call the cops to bring me back home.

I am planning to live in government housing once I turn 18 and get a link card. I applied for financial aid but they won't give me their tax information. I don't know how I will get a vehicle with no money and no one to co sign on a loan. I don't have any family. What do I do? Please help.

By anon329996 — On Apr 13, 2013

I'm 17, and I will be 18 in 11 months. My birth mother died when I was three months, and my dad is in jail. My boyfriend is 20.

I have been a runaway for three months and I'm not going back home because of all the family issues, like my mom jumped on me and tried to choke me. So I left home in January and never came back. My boyfriend doesn't want me to go back home and I don't either, because this is not the first time she has done that.

I don't know what to do right now. I'm in a state of confusion. At first my mom was gone, and he let me stay with my boyfriend and his mom, then she changed her mind all of a sudden. What should I do?

By anon328478 — On Apr 03, 2013

I know someone who is 17 and will be 18 in four months. Her parents are saying she can't move out when she turns 18. Does anyone have any information on this matter? She lives in the state of New Mexico.

By anon327120 — On Mar 26, 2013

I'm 19, live at home, pay rent, have chores that I'm expected to do, and I have younger siblings. I help cook and clean and I work 40 hours a week. I may be 19, but I am not old enough to move out yet. I know that one for sure. I act way too much like a kid at times and my parents get worried. So all you 15 and 16 year olds, please do yourselves a favor and grow up. Why the heck are you having sex at that age anyway? I'm a virgin and I'm not dead. You'll survive without it.

Take a step back, ignore what all your friends are saying. They're the same age as you and they haven't experienced life. I know a lady who got married at 16 to a man she "absolutely loved to death". Fourteen years of him drinking and running around on her later, she finally got out. She regrets it, and says that she thought he was the one. He wasn't. You never know at 16 who you'll love the rest of your life, especially with the hormones in your system at this time. She is remarried and as happy as she can be at 70 some years old.

Good rule of thumb: if you're worried that the person will be put in jail because of their relationship with you, you probably shouldn't be in it.

Don't think I have no idea what I'm talking about. Just this year, I almost moved out because my family isn't perfect and I was mad. For a long time, I felt emotionally abused by my family before I finally realized that deep down they love me more than anything. I have a brother who will literally track down a stalker and threaten him (It happened, choice words were exchanged and the dude never spoke to my sister again and this was when he was drinking and doing a whole lot of other crap that he doesn't do anymore)

You can't be a kid forever. At 15, you don't realize the bills need paying, you have to buy groceries, if you get pregnant you add on another mouth to feed, and they cry, whine, get sick, add stress, and no sleep exists for you. (I have four younger siblings; I know the drill). So boyfriend/girlfriend living together with child -- sounds like an explosion waiting to happen.

My brother actually moved back in after about a year and brought a friend back with him. He realized he wasn't ready and he admits that he was stupid to go out, and he needed to be at home for just a little while longer. He's married now with a child and they're doing great.

If you're in physical danger though, then you should contact somebody. Don't do it if you're just mad at the rules. I still have to text where I am, still have a technology off time at 10, and I still can't watch what I want to watch, no facebook until they say and such. I'm good with it. I'll be mature enough on my own someday, just not yet. Yes I am a talker. What makes you ask that?

By anon321605 — On Feb 23, 2013

I am 16 and my mother took me to Jamaica and I don't want to live here but she wants me to go through the same pain she did and I want to go and live with my father in America. What can I do?

By anon315388 — On Jan 23, 2013

I am 16 years old and I want to live with my sister in Massachusetts, but I live with my mother in Florida. I am under state protection that states that I can't leave until I'm 18 years of age.

I have never really wanted to be down here. I don't feel safe and over the past year, the person who is suppose to stay away hasn't and has caused problems. Is there any possible way I can be with my sister in Massachusetts?

By anon291434 — On Sep 14, 2012

I'm 17 going to be 18 in less than three months. I finished high school back in march. I work 48-55 hours a week at two jobs.

My boyfriend is 19, and he sees the physical and verbal abuse my family has giving me. It stresses me out so much. They judge me. They are always saying I'm pregnant, which I'm not, and I have proven it to them. Never have been pregnant, either.

I need to leave. I'm tired of falling asleep in a waterfall every night. I'm tired of being judged my my own family. I'm just tired of it all. What can I do to leave now? My heart is aching in pain. Even my boyfriend feels my pain. Help.

By anon290368 — On Sep 09, 2012

I'm 16 turning 17 in January. I have a boyfriend who is 18 and turning 19 at the end of September. My parents knew about our relationship and that's been since December 2010.

My parents loved him, but now they judge him more than ever. They told me if I don't like to be with them to just leave the house. I've been wanting to lately, but feel like they just say that to push my buttons. If I leave my house and run away, and they try looking for me, could they charge my boyfriend? For what? We live in Indiana.

By anon269677 — On May 18, 2012

I am a 17 year old female who lives in Missouri. I will not be 18 until next year but I want to know if I can legally move out of my house to live with my boyfriend and his mother. My boyfriend is 17 also and will be turning 18 in four months. I absolutely hate it at my house and I am basically the Cinderella of my family.

By anon267183 — On May 09, 2012

I am 17 and will be 18 in seven months and I'm living in New Hampshire with my father. We have never gotten along and I want to leave the house. He tells me that if I run away, he will call the cops on me and have them take me back to a children's home.

My father verbally abuses me all the time. I'm constantly wanting to cut or overdose on something. What can I do? Please help me get out of this situation.

By anon263392 — On Apr 24, 2012

18 is considered an adult. It doesn't matter if you are a male or female, tall or short, fat or skinny, black or white. You are 18 and you can choose how and where to live your life. Go out, spread your wings, and be free!

By anon258664 — On Apr 02, 2012

My godchild is turning 16 in June. We both live in Louisiana. Her mother is a pain pill addict and her father attempted to kill her and her siblings when they were younger.

She is very unhappy and not very well taken care of by either parent. She would like to come live with me and my husband but her mother and father will not approve it. My question is at what age could she leave and it be OK with the state laws?

By anon258339 — On Mar 31, 2012

I'm 16 and my boyfriend is 19. If I got pregnant, would I be able to move out or do my parents have to sign a paper? I know he can't get in trouble because the legal age of consent is 16. I need to know! I live in Kentucky.

By anon258030 — On Mar 30, 2012

Can my mom go to jail for my 18 year old brother. He has to find a school where he is now or they will take her. Is that fair to have a warrant on someone who is 18, and they take the parent in but not the one with the warrant?

By anon254877 — On Mar 14, 2012

I live in Missouri. My 18 year old son lives in Nebraska with his mother, and his mother signed him out of school as soon when he turned 16. I have continued to pay child support for him.

He has worked at McDonald's for two years. Why am I paying child support still?

By anon253195 — On Mar 08, 2012

If I'm 16 and my boyfriend is 18, is it classified as kidnapping if I leave the state of Maryland and go to West Virgina with him?

By anon251358 — On Feb 29, 2012

I am 18 years old and my mother won't let me move out of the house. She claims that the new Colorado state law states that I cannot move out of the house legally until I am 19. Is this true?

By anon250047 — On Feb 24, 2012

I am 17. I turn 18 tomorrow. I left home when I was about to turn 17 so my mom had to file runaway charges. Almost 10 months later they caught me and put me in a children's home and I ran out and missed my court date, too. I have never had any problems with charges or anything except for this now. And I have a 17 year old girlfriend who is six months pregnant with my baby.

By anon246544 — On Feb 09, 2012

I am 17 and 27 weeks pregnant and my boyfriend is 23 years old, the father of my baby. We are trying to find some houses to rent. I'm scared that because of my age they won't let me move in with him even if I'm pregnant? Could someone let me know something about this? Anything would help.

By anon242124 — On Jan 21, 2012

I'm 16. I got expelled from school and I'm looking to get my GED. I live on my own. I wish I didn't have so much stress going on in my life at such a young age. I have no one who gives a damn about my well being. I'm lost and forgotten and don't know what I'm going to do?

By anon241851 — On Jan 20, 2012

I'm 16 and married. Can I drop out of school?

By anon239361 — On Jan 08, 2012

i have a quick question. I'm 20 years old, and I have three little brothers. My parents are recently separated. How old do I have to be to be legally in charge of them?

By xauto — On Dec 29, 2011

@Post 134: Yes, until the age of 21, they (just legal children of yours) are allowed to come and stay with you and you need to be able to support them and house them and such. This doesn't mean you have to pay for their house if they can't pay for it; that's their problem if they signed the lease.

The thing about you having to pay any of her expenses the whole 21st year is, as you said, rubbish. Unless you co-signed the lease. Seeing as it's your place that was leased to them, I doubt you co-signed a lease on your own place.

Honestly, I know it sounds harsh and would be hard to do for anyone, but I would evict them at this point. She is undoubtedly old enough to start taking care of herself at 21 years old. If she hasn't managed to be able to at this point, that's her fault and now her problem. Not yours.

By anon236211 — On Dec 22, 2011

I would like to know what exactly is the age of adulthood in the state of New York. My daughter is living there in my house with her boyfriend and new baby. They both signed a lease for the apartment in August of 2011. I have not been paid anything since they signed the lease. They actually have been living in the apartment since April with no lease. She just turned 21 and he is 22 or 23, and now she is telling me I have to take care of her expenses for the whole 21st year, which I think is rubbish.

She has kept telling me that they are going to pay the rent, but they don't. I was just biding my time till she was 21 and with the lease I could then evict them for non-payment. She has never been easy to live with she dropped out of school at the beginning of 10th grade and would disappear for days at a time.

I wanted to "help" her, but she is unwilling to help herself and is uninterested in finding a job.

Anyway, I live in Florida and use the apartment in New York for income and the upstairs as a place to stay when I visit my family who live there as well. I just want to know what the actual age is cause I'm tired of getting jerked around. Thanks, A Fed-up Mom.

By anon232393 — On Nov 30, 2011

I am 15 years old and my boyfriend is 17. I'm pregnant. He's going to be 18 in 3 months. Can he go to jail?

By xauto — On Oct 27, 2011

@Post 129: I am a 17 year-old male with some life-learned knowledge on this topic and I say, yes! Of course there is a way out. From what you've said, you're living in a bad home environment. I'm not saying a mom being a stripper is a bad thing. You do what you need to for money sometimes. But the step-dad being a dealer, of anything, causes the bad environment. Especially if he's bringing people to your home where you live.

I have experience with things like this, seeing as I've associated with dealers before, and I'm not saying that the dealer is the dangerous thing here (although it could be too), but the people he brings home sometimes could possibly pose harm to him, you, your mom or anyone in the house at the time. And if things go bad, it could get really ugly, really fast.

Now, for the way out of this situation if you're underage, there are a few options. One, you can go live with your real dad, which would be allowed by law seeing as you're over 12 (the age in which you have to be to be able to choose the biological parent in which you live if they're divorced with no custody issues).

If your parents refuse to let you, you can contact your dad, and tell him the situation you're in and he can take it to court if he needs to, and inform them that you living with your mom and step-dad is not safe for you and he would get custody.

Also, you can also convince a family member or close friend (if you have one over 18 and can support you financially) to do the same as what the father would, except in this case, they'd have to try to convince your mom (your step-dad has no say in anything about you, seeing as he never adopted you, I'm assuming) to let you or they can also take it to court, but you'd have to have proof of why living at your house is not safe for you and they can give custody of you from your mother to someone else (usually easier with a family member).

If none of this works, go live with a good friend of yours whose parents know your story. They should know your story in the case that your mom or step-dad call the police saying you've ran away or that they've "kidnapped" you, so that they can tell the police what's going on and not get in trouble for housing you.

As a last case scenario, you can go to child support services and tell them what's been going on and they'll put you in the foster care system, but I personally wouldn't recommend it. I mean, it might be better than your home you live in, but it's not the best choice.

I really do hope the best for you! Please let me know how it goes if you go through with it!

By anon213975 — On Sep 13, 2011

I am a filipina 37 yrs old with two kids. I have a american boyfriend age 21 years old. I don't know how to deal with him sometimes. And I don't know if I'm doing the right thing. I don't know if our relationship will work or not.

By anon209957 — On Aug 28, 2011

I am 24 years old, and I date a 17 year old girl and we have a six month old baby. We have so many problems that I don't feel like being with her anymore. The problem is that she wants me to stay with her and she even tells me that if I leave her she is going to put me in jail, because she is a minor and she is not going to let me see the baby ever again, and that she is going to put me in jail because I hit her -- something that is not true. What can I do? Is it possible that I can go to jail? Do I have to stay with her?

By anon205623 — On Aug 13, 2011

I am a 13 year old girl from Canada and my boyfriend is 16 (just turned 16 in july)and he is from the usa. My mother and step dad have been very abusive to me since I was about four. And I've only met my real father four times. My stepdad has been dealing for as long as I can remember and now he starts to bring creepy people over to our house. And mom my is a stripper traveling around everywhere. And every day I get worried that something is going to happen and I just don't want to live in this situation anymore.

I've tried talking my parents into letting me live with him and his family. But they just won't. Is there any way I could get away from there legally?

By confusedteen — On Aug 03, 2011

To the person who wrote post 87, I was in the same situation. I wish you the best.

By confusedteen — On Aug 03, 2011

I'm 19 years old and will turn 20 in four months. I'm about to start my second year in college and have decided I don't want to return home. Can I legally leave my parents' house to live on my own without their consent? I'm asking this because my mom learned from a teacher that children can't leave their parents' home until they turn 21. I'm from Arizona by the way.

By anon202196 — On Aug 01, 2011

i really like a guy who is 18 and i am 15, but am going to be 16 in two months. would it be OK if we were together?

By anon192885 — On Jul 03, 2011

So three years ago, i moved to my dad's in wisconsin from my mom's in wisconsin. I'll be 17 in three weeks and i want to come back to my mom's. I hate it at my dads and can't find happiness. what do i do? can i move with my mom or not?

By anon187898 — On Jun 19, 2011

So here is the deal. I don't like where I'm living at all. My stepmom is horrible to me, my dad is sexually abusive, and I can't live with my stepdad because he is sexually abusive as well.

I'm only 16, but I was wondering if there is anyway I can move out. I was thinking maybe a relatives? I don't want to live on my own, I know I'm not ready for that. I was just wondering if I can move to a relatives place until I graduate legally? Any help is appreciated, and I live in WV.

By anon180875 — On May 27, 2011

my girlfriend wants to move in with me. she is 18 and has graduated high school. we are going to talk to her parents tonight and she thinks they will call the police. can anyone tell me if they call the police, if they can make her return home with them, instead of giving her the choice to stay with me or not? we are both 18 and graduated.

By anon177804 — On May 19, 2011

i will be 18 in August. i am in foster care. i can leave foster care when i am 18 right? i was told even by the people that i work with that i can leave when i am a legal adult.

By anon176801 — On May 16, 2011

My daughter has a bill at a doctor's office. She was 18 when she accumulated this bill. I was there having my other child seen there, and the billing department said I was responsible for the bill. Is that true? She is now 19 and the lady at the billing department said I was still responsible for her. I live in Wyoming. As far as I know you are considered to be an adult at 18 in Wyoming. So is it right for her to discuss her bill with me without my daughter's permission?

By anon172728 — On May 04, 2011

I ran away and missed my court date, and they put a warrant for me as a juvenile. I'm 18. do i have anything to worry about?

By anon171741 — On May 01, 2011

I have a grandson in Kansas, who was born here in Texas where we live. He wants to leave home there in Kansas to move back here to Texas and will be 17 years old in August 2011. Is he considered an adult, or will he be tagged a runaway? He doesn't want to stay with his mother and stepdad anymore.

By anon167652 — On Apr 13, 2011

Okay I'm 17 in 16 days, and i want to date a 23 year old. I'm in missouri. is that okay?

By anon164161 — On Mar 30, 2011

is there a penal code where my parents have the right to keep me a minor until i turn 21 and revoke me from being an adult when i turn 18.

By anon164021 — On Mar 30, 2011

I moved to the US from Belgium, and i am 19. In my country of origin i can buy smokes and alcohol because i am of legal age. Why can't i here as well? Doesn't that somehow collide with my rights?

By anon163853 — On Mar 29, 2011

I'm 15, and will be 16 in two weeks. I live in South Dakota. For the last six months I've been struggling with my situation at home.

My mother is constantly flipping out and screaming at me. I don't want to live at home at all. I can't deal with the stress and her taking out her stress on me; it isn't good for anyone's health in the house.

I can't move in with my dad because he's doing drugs and has paranoid schizophrenia with delusions of grandeur. I don't want to move in with my godmother because she lives an hour away. If I have to I will, but is it possible for me to live with a distant cousin who lives a few blocks down from me? Am I able to make that decision alone? If I want to, may I live with a grandparent or a godmother?

By anon162541 — On Mar 24, 2011

Age of consent in the US (no matter what the age of other person is).

16: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia.

17: Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Texas.

18: Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

Most states have a provision allowing those slightly underage to have sex with those within two or three years apart.

There is absolutely no adult age set at 21 (drinking age). Mississippi sets the age of majority at 21. However, 18 includes all rights with the exception of alcohol.

By anon162532 — On Mar 23, 2011

In Canada, the federal age of consent is 16 and the other person can be any age. Age 14-15 has a five year close in period (other person less than five years older) and age 12-13 is a two year close in period. Before 2008, then it was age 14 and other person of any age older or similar age younger (two years or less).

In the US the age of consent can range from 16-18 and is not the adult age, no matter what the age of the other person is they cannot be charged with statutory rape (sex with a minor). Sometimes there is a younger close in age which two people close in age can legally have sex.

Adult age does not mean age of consent.

By anon161296 — On Mar 19, 2011

I am soon to be fifteen, and my mother has been screaming at me telling me to move in with my boyfriend's family because I apparently take his mother's advice more. My boyfriend is fifteen as well. Does having a child even though I am only fifteen make me an adult? (Michigan)

By anon161006 — On Mar 17, 2011

I just turned 21 in february. I had a relationship with a 17 year old guy back in october and ended up pregnant. I was 20 at the time. I was just wondering if I can get in trouble for this when the baby is born. We have not been together since November and he will be 18 not long after the baby is born in August.

By anon160085 — On Mar 14, 2011

I'm 17 and I'll turn 18 on June 16. i want to marry a 30 year old guy. Do my parents have to sign?

By anon158844 — On Mar 08, 2011

I am 16 and I live in Canada I am legal to have sex here but my Boyfriend is 28. if i am allowed to have sex, will he get charged?

By anon156261 — On Feb 26, 2011

for the guy who is 27 and dating a 17 year old: i am glad I'm not her father. You wouldn't have to worry about jail.

By anon148693 — On Feb 02, 2011

Apparently if you are adopted in the state of Missouri, you are never entitled to full adult rights. I was adopted in 1970 and am now 40 years old and in search of my biological relatives. Missouri has told me I need to have my adopted parents sign a consent in order for any information to be released to me! Really? I'm 40! Just saying.

By anon148565 — On Feb 02, 2011

For the comment in number 22, may i ask, why would you want to date some dude in his or her 60's? that's just gross, man. I'm sorry. I wouldn't. Go for someone who is your age or close to it.

By anon145432 — On Jan 23, 2011

At 15, yes, it is rape if you're with a 21 year old. like wow. and no, you can not leave your house until you're 18 years old. if you try, your parents can put you on pins and you won't be able to leave till you're 21. so keep pushing them. Trust me. I'm 17 and would love to move in with my 18 year old boyfriend but i can't for another year. but at such a young age you shouldn't be worried about living with your boyfriend. just finish school, and if you're still together in three years when you graduate and he waited for you, then you know he loves you, so move in with him.

and don't even think about trying to get pregnant because he will go to jail and your baby won't have a dad.

By anon145012 — On Jan 21, 2011

Wow, looks like a lot of people have trouble looking up your state's laws. If you are 18 and live in the U.S., no matter what, you may legally move out of your parents' house. The only state, unless emancipated, where you can move out at 17 is texas.

And the 27 year old dating the 17 year old, it depends on what state you live in. In most states, the age of consent is 16, 17, or some sort of close to age law. That doesn't mean it is completely wrong and gross you're having sex with a 17 year old.

By anon144418 — On Jan 19, 2011

I have had it with my almost 19 year old and told him to pack his stuff because he was moving out. He said he is not going anywhere and I tried to kick him out.

He is doing nothing with his life and he does not work or go to school, eats my food, lives in my home for free, and causes stress. I called the police department and they said I could not kick him out of my home! I have to go to small claims court and evict him and they can still make me keep him here! This is in Indiana and I just never heard of such nonsense!

By anon143834 — On Jan 17, 2011

I am 27 years old and am dating a girl of 17 years and now she is pregnant by me. Please, I am asking whether i can be jailed for that. We both live in new york state. Please, please, i need an urgent answer because thinking about it is driving me crazy.

By anon143374 — On Jan 15, 2011

I'm aaron i live in missouri and i will be 17 soon. can i legally leave missouri at the age of 17 without parental consent and getting charged as a runaway?

By anon142654 — On Jan 13, 2011

I know that in the state of texas for girls is age 17. Why i know this? It's because my sister tried to run away and my mom found her. My sister tried to run again and my mom saw a cop and stopped him. When the cop asked to see my sister's id and seen she had just turned 17, he told my mother that he couldn't do anything because she was at legal age to do what she wants. My mom went everywhere asking lawyers and they said the same.

I even left at 17 and had my own apartment. But for some reason guys have to be 18 to leave their house without their parents going crazy and saying they ran away.

Also, to be able to date, there can only be a two year difference in age. My mom was friends with a senator and she tried to get my boyfriend arrested because i was 16 and he was 18. All because she didn't like him. But the laws are different in every state. I just know texas is OK with me.

By anon139434 — On Jan 04, 2011

I am 17 and I was married at 16. My husband left me and I am living with the people who took care of him for four years, my mom wants me to move back home but i don't want to. am i not an adult because i was married? Please tell me. i live in alabama.

By anon137943 — On Dec 29, 2010

My daughter is 17 almost 18. Her boyfriend is 16 almost 17. It's so complicated. He's very controlling and demanding. She still lives with us and will graduate May of 2011.

Every time she talks to him he makes her cry or sometimes if she gets mad at him she takes it out on us. She's becoming this wild girl just because she's almost 18. So in the meantime we are letting her know we want her to stop seeing him and focus on graduating. Then after she graduates she can decide if she still wants to be with him.

Should I just let her fall flat on her butt and let her see the true him? If yes, then how do control of her not following our rules in our home?

By anon137879 — On Dec 29, 2010

In the US age of consent varies from state to state, so legal adult in the US is tricky, technically it's 18, but 21 to drink, and many offenders can be charged as adults in court even before they reach the age of 18.

Then for intercourse, the law becomes totally region specific, so one state may say age of consent 16 and in that state a 16 year old sleeping with a 20 year old is legal, but the next state over may have an age of consent of 17 or 18, now qualifying that same legal action as statutory rape once it crosses the state line. In short, there is no universally defined age for adulthood in the US.

By anon136907 — On Dec 24, 2010

I'm 17 and my boyfriend is 20, is that illegal? we don't have sex, nor will we until i am 18, but is it still considered statutory rape if we do other things?

By anon135627 — On Dec 19, 2010

I'm 17 and a girl told me she was 15. i asked her to send some pics but then her cousin found out and told me she was 12. can i get in trouble?

By anon135365 — On Dec 18, 2010

I am 17, i will turn 18 on January of 2011. I still of course live with my parents and i would really love it if i could move out already. I am going to school and when i turn 18 i will still be in school. I want to move out a few weeks after I'm 18 but my mom told me "You can't leave because you will still be in school and i still have custody of you .I still have responsibility over you".

I, for one, don't think this is true because i am a legal adult. They no longer have to house me and take care of me. I think i am very mature for my age. I know moving out won't be simple and it's not going to be everything i dream it to be. I still want to be able to have freedom to do what i want and what i need. No i don't mean partying and hanging it with friends. I want freedom to go the library and to get school supplies when i need them.

I don't smoke, I don't drink, I have never been pregnant and I take care of myself. I have never broken the law and the most i have done to my parents is not to call them when i left for a friend's house. I felt really bad that i made my mom cry, but the point is i have never done anything bad in my life. My parents still treat me like i am the worst kid ever and my mom says "You have a princess attitude".

She says I'm never grateful and i try to prove it but it's not enough for them. So I'm ready to leave. I want freedom to be myself without my parents judging me. I want to be able to have my apartment in my own way. I can't even have creativity without my mom putting me down. I can't be myself in my own house and i would really like to feel like i can breathe.

My parents don't do those things for me and it's up to me to do these things but they won't even let me leave the house. Things that i truly need they won't give me. To me they are bad parents but of course to them they are the greatest parents. I would really like to know if there is a way out of this house so i can live my life. It won't be easy and i will have no time to myself. It's better than being judged for everything you do by your own parents.

By anon135280 — On Dec 17, 2010

I'm turning 17 in six days. can i move out when i turn 17 and live with my boyfriend who is 19?

By anon129063 — On Nov 22, 2010

I agree with comment number 76 and 36. The problem is not from teens. The problem from their sick parents who let their sons daughters to go through all this crap. If the parents weren't bad, then the children won't be taking drugs or having sex! So all of this is because of the parents.

Not all the parents are good people and some of them don't know how to control their kids and raise them in the right way, so from here the problems come out.

I'm not from states. I'm from a country where the legal age is 18. I can drink, get a car license or buy a house or vote or anything like adult people do.

By anon127231 — On Nov 15, 2010

I ran away last year from a foster home in MN. I traveled on the run and moved to utah a few weeks after turning 18. The police station which reported me missing told me i need to report myself as a missing person by going into the nearest police department to clear my name. Is this true?

By anon126783 — On Nov 13, 2010

@anon101676: Where are your brains? what made you get pregnant when you're only 15? and did your parents say it was all right for you to be with a 21 year old? if not he can go to jail for raping a 15 year old and will also be a pedophile. Yes it's legal, Your mom has all the rights and say because you are under the age of 18!

By anon125994 — On Nov 11, 2010

I am extremely under age and i am trying to get over my 28 year old teacher whom i have loved for two years. I think he loves me too but i don't know. I wish love wasn't so hard.

If i could i wouldn't love him. i would love someone my age. but I love him and I want to tell him but i am scared to because of the age difference and i know it is illegal. I wish i could stop loving him!

By anon117450 — On Oct 10, 2010

I'm 17 (18 in December) and feel I'm an adult. Everyone thinks that you are an adult when you turn 18 but in countries like India you are considered and adult at 13.

I believe that your maturity defines you more than age. Of course there needs to be some guidelines. I have no friends because I'm far more mature then others my age. I started college when I turned 16 and will have completed my Bachelor’s degree in the beginning of 2013. I will be furthering my education immediately after onto my PhD in Developmental Psychology.

I'm 100 percent financially stable, I work 36 hours a week making $10 an hour in addition to full time college. My parents are very religious and feel I'm immature because I doubt religion.

I feel that religion is a crutch that humanity developed to hide behind taking responsibility for their actions. Becoming an adult is different for everyone and there is no definite number for when you are an adult.

By rjeromeh — On Sep 25, 2010

My daughter who is 19 - a really good kid, but naive - went with some of her friends to take a tour of a University apartment complex in July 2010.

When the tour ended, she ended up signing what she thought was an application to get one of the apartments, only to learn later that she signed a one year lease agreement. She states that the representative just told her to initial certain places on the form and sign. So she did.

According to their website all applicants must go through an application process, pay a $35 application fee, and go through a criminal background check. There was no mention of employment verification which I thought was odd. I have never seen anyone get an apartment and not have a job. (My daughter has never worked and does not have a job).

I called the apartment complex and they tell me that they waived all application fees and that my daughter was approved based only on her clean criminal record. When I asked them whether they cared or not she had a job or not, they said that was a non-issue. I thought that was odd.

My daughter did not think anymore about it until a few days ago when she gets a threatening letter saying she owes $932 in back rent.

She never received a key and never moved in. She did not know she had entered into a lease agreement until she called them to see what it was all about.

They told her (and me, her Father) that she entered into a legal agreement with them and she is obligated to pay else they will "evict her" and put the case in collections and that her credit will be affected.

I was angered by this.

Why would an apartment complex first of all allow a minor with no job enter into a lease agreement and have no employment verification? Legal adult age is 21 in NC and my daughter is 19 years old.

Second, why wait nearly three months and then send a letter demanding payment. Did they not know that the apartment was vacant? That "they" did not issue a key?

My daughter states - and her friends will vouch - that they were in the office just before it was about to close and the representative rushed her through initialing a bunch of forms and the process lasted less than five minutes.

When I called the apartment complex and asked them some of the questions I posed here, they were very evasive. When I asked to speak to the representative who spoke with my daughter, I had to go through two people to get to her. Her supervisors where protecting her.

They said she was not in but would call me back. Well, she did. And, I am sure after her boss coached her on what to say.

They were unmoving in their position and threatened court action against my daughter, who is traumatized over this. They state that my daughter was of legal age and knew what she was doing.

I disagree. My daughter does not have a job and it would not be logical for her to enter into a lease agreement.

I believe the "legal" adult age in NC is 21.

Based on that, I do not believe that this "lease" agreement is binding unless there is a parental consent on it. Neither myself or my daughter's mother (my ex-wife) ever signed a consent.

Input and advice, please. Thanks.

By anon112207 — On Sep 19, 2010

i have a 17 year old daughter who is married but her husband is in prison. she had a baby in 2009 but cps took my grandson away because of her drug use of crack/cocaine.

as of today she is pregnant. is she considered an adult if she's married? she's been getting into lots of trouble. she won't listen to anyone. we all tried getting her to go to rehab but she won't go.

what rights do i have through the legal system to get her help? she is still doing drugs while pregnant but does not live with me. i live in south texas. please help.

By glori — On Sep 09, 2010

I'm 17 and my boyfriend is 27. nobody knows that he is my boyfriend because I am afraid that he can go to jail. I'm waiting to be 18 and tell my family.

My question is: can he go to the jail if I'm 18 and he is 28? i live in pennsylvania.

By anon109488 — On Sep 07, 2010

None of you need to be having babies at that age. If you're 15 and he is in his 20s-30s, I have news for you. There is no way in hell he loves you. You're just an easy target. Seriously, what business would an older man want with a 15 year old girl?

Also for those few people, don't run away because they will find you and it will only piss off your "abusive" parents further. I don't know why teens think this but foster care is not fun. Stick it out like the rest of us, and move away to college once you hit 18.

By anon108188 — On Sep 01, 2010

To the people who are all like: "I'm 16 and I want to move in with my 21 year old boyfriend whom I love very much."

Stop and think about it. People never really find their true love when they are that young, and really they make that mistake of moving in with them but when you are kicked out or you break up, where would you go?

By anon106110 — On Aug 24, 2010

The legal age where I live is 21 for most things. You cannot marry, enter into legal contracts or vote until you are 21. A minor is somebody under the age of 21 and their parents need to give parental consent for them to do things legally.

At 18 you can do certain things like buying cigarettes and alcohol. otherwise it's with parental consent.

By anon105785 — On Aug 22, 2010

I'm 17 and talking to a 21 year old. can that get him in trouble?

By anon105770 — On Aug 22, 2010

I'm 15 and my boyfriend is 18. Can he go to jail?

By anon104881 — On Aug 18, 2010

My parents think they have the right to take my property without consent and without intentions of returning it. I am 18 years old. They argue with me saying they can tell me whether or not I can even use the computer or use my game consoles. They do not have the right, correct? If so how should this be approached?

By anon104687 — On Aug 17, 2010

I just recently turned 16. I broke up with my girl friend when I was 15 and she was 17. Now she's 18 and wants to put me on child support. Can she? Even though she won't let me see my daughter? I am a minor, and I live in North Carolina.

By anon102567 — On Aug 08, 2010

Well. I'm 15 and this guy I like is 21. Could we get together legally?

By anon101676 — On Aug 04, 2010

I am almost 15 and I am pregnant with a 21 year old's kid! He asked me to move in with him and I love him! I want to move in with him, but my parents are forcing me to stay here with them! Is that even legal?

By anon100290 — On Jul 29, 2010

to the guy with the 18 year old son who says he doesn't obey the rules. c'mon. he's 18 and he's reaching his prime. he has the right to stay out as late as he wants and he has the right to do whatever he wants (within the law) and he has the right to go wherever he wants. in all honesty he doesn't have to follow your rules and you don't have to let him live with you. that's your choice, but I'm not telling you to kick him out.

just stop treating him like he's still a minor. sit down with him. compromise if you still want him to love and show respect towards you. walk a mile in his shoes see how he feels. sit down with him and talk. try to make boundaries that both of you can live with. and remember he's growing up.

By anon95889 — On Jul 13, 2010

i'm 16 and I'll be 17 in September. can my parents make me not see my boyfriend who is 21? and can he get in trouble because he's with me?

By anon94632 — On Jul 09, 2010

I am 15 and am turning 16 in 2 months and i want to move out off my house when i turn 16 because my mom and my sisters are abusing me. they have their own children but they don't take care of them. they always have to tell me to take care of them and i can't live my life in peace and my dad doesn't want to know anything about us.

but i had enough with my family and i want to get out of my house but my mom told be i have to be 22 so i can leave the house but i really don't know at what age you can move out of your parents house? what can i do? should i still live with them and let them do whatever they want with my life?

By anon94621 — On Jul 09, 2010

I'm going to be 16 in two weeks and my boyfriend is 19. my parents let me live with him and his parents but can he go to jail even with both of our parents thinking it is OK for us to be together?

By anon93775 — On Jul 05, 2010

OK, I'm 17 I turn 18 in 11 months. I live with my dad and step mom and we fight non stop I wish to move out. My mother said until I'm 18 I must live with him or my dad. I have friends whose family has offered to let me rent a house from them. Is this legal? Can I leave home without legal actions being taken?

I live in Buffalo, TX

By anon93547 — On Jul 04, 2010

I am extremely young. I am under age and my boyfriend is 18. I want to leave my house because my mother is abusive. I want to live with him. But it's not "legal". Would it be wrong if i ran away?

By anon93116 — On Jul 01, 2010

I am 15 and i have an eight month old son and my parents won't let his father see me or his child. I don't know what to do. I have been told by many people that i could move out, but i am trying to clear that up before i try to leave. What do i do?

By anon92853 — On Jun 30, 2010

I'm 17 and graduated from high school. My parents are divorced and my father no longer pays child support or anything. I want to move out when I begin college but my step dad won't let me. Does he have the right to do that? Or am I considered an adult and can make my own decisions since I have graduated high school.

By anon92525 — On Jun 28, 2010

I'm 17 and I turn 18 next year. I just wanted to know if I can leave my house and get married the same day I turn 18.

By anon91863 — On Jun 24, 2010

i am 17 years old. my mother passed away eight months ago. my father is a victim of drug abuse, and our house burned down months ago. is there any kind of program that can help me get a place to stay?

By anon91189 — On Jun 20, 2010

I am 15, and i turn 16 in 8 months. I live in Missouri, but I'm in love with a boy that lives in California. is it okay for me to leave my home and move out there when i turn 16?

By anon91103 — On Jun 19, 2010

I'm 18 and i want to live with my girlfriend who is 16 but everything is consensual. My parents hate that we are together and don't let me see her. Her parents on the other hand like me and like her and i together. They are afraid my parents are able to do something but because I'm 18. i don't think my parents can do anything. Am i right?

By anon90496 — On Jun 16, 2010

I'm 18 today and i think you can date anyone you want. But the problem is if he or she is 17-2 minor wise you can't and i know that some kids fall in love with adults but all the new and old adults know better not to.

They can take your kids and you will be miserable, so be smart and think two times before kissing or doing anything with a minor. i would not want to go to jail.

Minors, I know it's hard when you fall in love with someone older than you, but remember what the stakes are: it could be life or death and you will never see them again, so if you want to see them again, don't do anything.

By anon90423 — On Jun 16, 2010

I'm 18 and will enter college in September. I want to go to Tokyo for one week in July. Will I need my parents' permission before heading off?

By anon89172 — On Jun 09, 2010

I'm 18 and my boyfriend is 30. Can my parents stop me from seeing him because I can't find anything saying they can.

By anon88683 — On Jun 06, 2010

i am 17 and turn 18 in nine days. can i move out without getting in trouble with the law and make me move back home? i live in houston tx

By anon88451 — On Jun 05, 2010

I pray that all of you are able to get our of your abusive homes or situations. If you are able, try to stay as long as you can with your parents until you are able to get your own shelter.

I got pregnant at the age of 18 and it was not fun. I was living with my parents who were not supportive for nothing. But I stuck it through until I was able to save enough money and move out. Take care of yourself!

By anon87912 — On Jun 02, 2010

i am about to be 16 this month, and my boyfriend is 22 and i am not happy with where I'm living. can i move out without him getting in trouble because i was not raped. i choose to be with him and my parents and everyone in my family know about us.

By anon86005 — On May 23, 2010

My girlfriend is 18 and out of school. She wants to leave the house because her parents are so controlling. Last time she tried to move out and told them she would they put a couch in front of the door and physically forced her to stay. Now she is going to move out without telling them.

Is there any way she or I can get in trouble? My girlfriend and I have been dating for two years and her parents absolutely hate me.

By senior10 — On Apr 14, 2010

i am 17 years old, and currently a senior. i will be graduating next month. i will turn 18 next month as well. however i am 5 and a half months pregnant and my parents do not like the father of my child. i am concerned about the health of my unborn child, because of the stress that my parents put on me every day. if i move out today and move in with the father of my unborn child, can i still legally get in trouble?

By anon76864 — On Apr 12, 2010

my best friend is 17 and in dss foster care, she goes through a lot of hardships at home, and is very unhappy; she tried killing herself two years ago. if she can find a way out, she has a place to live, and means of support. how can she get out of dss custody?

also, i am 17. i live with my dad, and he is an abusive alcoholic. i have means of supporting myself, and am very stable, and also have a place to stay. how can i get out of this house, and not get in trouble?

By redhotmonkey — On Apr 08, 2010

Well one, if you get pregnant by him, he would go to jail for rape because you are still a minor and are not allowed to give consent. Unless you marry him, that is the only way he will stay out of jail. I am not sure.

Please don't do like my older sister is doing. She has run away and we haven't seen or talked to in almost two months. Try talking to your parents and see if they will let you move out and see if they will help you move out.

You have to think how much parents don't want to let their children grow up because it makes them feel like they are not part of your world anymore.

You are all grown up, but part of them still hopes you're a kid. They just want what is best for you and they want you to be happy. If they don't think you're ready for the world, sit down with them and see what it is going to take to convince them you are not a kid anymore and you can make your own responsible decisions. ~Worried Little Sister~

By anon75686 — On Apr 07, 2010

Okay well, basically i want to leave my house. It's very much like hell but thinking about it, hell seems better then here.

okay I'm 16 turning 17 soon. my boyfriend is almost 18. I'm wondering if I'm able to leave? what if i were pregnant? will it be possible to leave my house without any problems from my family because i don't want to hear from them once i leave that home.

By anon71776 — On Mar 19, 2010

can a child who is 18 leave their parents' place of residence while still in high school?

By redhotmonkey — On Mar 08, 2010

The best way to move out is to talk to your parents, not running away. Talk to your parents and find a solution that will make both you and your parents happy. Running away in my book doesn't make you an adult. It makes you a chicken because you can't stand up to your parents and tell them you want to move out.

So you all can come to a logical decision that you all agree on. When you run away it causes a lot of stress at home with your loved ones. I know this because my oldest sister ran away a month ago. ~Worried Little Sister~

By anon68794 — On Mar 04, 2010

anon21725: Yes you can. Legally, your parents can't make you stay; if they do they can find themselves in legal trouble. once you're 18, legally you don't have to listen to your parents. After all, this is the only country where your not an adult by 16.

By anon67655 — On Feb 25, 2010

legal age in any state ranges from 16 to 19 to move out. Your parents can't stop you after that, but if you live in their house, you still have to go by their rules because they have every right to kick you out.

By anon62600 — On Jan 27, 2010

I'm 17 and I'm going to be 18 this year in november. I'm still attending high school but i want to take my last two years of high school on the computer so i can move out when I'm 18 and i'll still be in high school, but my parents say i cannot move out if I'm still in high school regardless if I'm 18 or not. is this true?

By anon56153 — On Dec 12, 2009

My daughter turned 18 in November, and she is still in high school until june 2010. Is our custody order done now that she is 18? Does she have to go visit her father every weekend even if she does not want to?

By amypollick — On Dec 10, 2009

To the mom with the 18-year-old son. I don't have children, but I know you're worried about your son. Give him a couple of days. Let him know you still love him and want him home. Then, as tough as it may be, let him find out for himself how hard it is when you don't have three hots and a cot for free. Don't badger him -- just let him know he's welcome when he wants to come back.

I have a sneaking suspicion that, when his money/food/lodging runs out, he will come slinking home, tail between his legs. Then, you tell him he either follows the house rules or he can get a job, move out and act however he wants to.

You're not being a bad mom by telling him there are certain rules he has to follow in order to live with you. It's your house. You've made the payments on it all these years and you determine how people act inside it.

By anon55834 — On Dec 09, 2009

Help! My son just turned 18 in September and ever since that day he keeps claiming that he is an adult.

I know that turning 18 means you are a legal adult and now have all the same rights and rules as a 38 year old adult, but as an 18 year old who still lives at home and is a full time student and has no job and no responsibilities except to get up and go to school, don't they still have to obey the rules of the house?

When do you draw the line of adult or not? My 18 year old left tonight because he thinks that is what we want and all we want is for the rules to be obeyed, help us out a little and give us some respect.

I never wanted him to leave. Can someone help? Mom

By anon52367 — On Nov 13, 2009

girls on this website talking about their boyfriends moving in with them when they are 18. it's not a good choice. you want to experience the world on your own and that is going to bring tension to your relationship.

You might want to wait to move together when you're done with school and have a good job and know what you want for yourself and for the both of you.

By anon49560 — On Oct 21, 2009

All of you who think that moving out will solve your problems, you're dreadfully wrong. I turned 18 recently, and oh my God, would i love to go back to being a minor, or living with my parents. It's a hard life on your own. Bills are no fun. You don't have time to have fun anymore. So all you minors asking if it's legal to move out, just knock it off and enjoy the time you have as a minor while you can. You won't always have parents to take care of you, because once you're eighteen, it's your job to do it yourself. Just remember that being an adult isn't all the fun people make it out to be.

By anon49401 — On Oct 20, 2009

I am 17. Not happy in my home. I want to leave. Can I without any trouble?

By anon48752 — On Oct 14, 2009

If someone is old enough to go over seas or into a combat zone and get his or her head shot off by enemy snipers or walk on a land mine at 18 or even 17 years old? Who gives someone the right to say I'm sorry pal, but you're under age (bars, casinos, renting adult movies, renting a car, and the list goes on and on)! But gee thanks for defending the country and not getting your butt blown away! I say if you have the mind set to take such steps in life then by all means to me you are an adult.

By anon47641 — On Oct 06, 2009

my boyfriend is 28 and i am 17. is this OK.

By anon45784 — On Sep 20, 2009

In Texas, at what age are individuals considered an adult and have the freedom to make all of their own decisions? In Canada, when you are an adult you make all of your decisions including traveling, marriage, voting, signing contracts, purchasing and consuming alcohol or cigarettes. You are essentially in charge of your life just as your parents are in charge of theirs (assuming the indidvidual is of sound mind). A guest is having a dispute between two parents here and I need to know how Texas law interprets this legal age question. Thank you!

By anon45327 — On Sep 15, 2009

I am 19 years old. My mother claims i cannot move out until i am 21 years of age. Is this true?

By anon44868 — On Sep 11, 2009

18 is an adult for male and female.

By anon44292 — On Sep 06, 2009

wht will happen if someone is 17 and they find weed in vehicle. will he be cosidered an adult?

By anon42742 — On Aug 23, 2009

I'm turning 15 this September, but i don't want to grow up for sure. so am i still a kid or a child or what, because I'm getting mixed signal about people saying, "oh when you're 16 you're an official adult." and i have this sister turning 14 too so...

By anon41257 — On Aug 13, 2009

i am 17 years old. i will be 18 in 3 months. can i legally move out of my parents' house now? my sister and her mother say i can live with them. i live in columbus ohio.

By anon40959 — On Aug 12, 2009

my boyfriend's mom gave him the choice to move here with my family or stay. he told her that he wanted to come here and she prevented it, although she had given him the choice. since he will be 18 in only a few months, is it legal for him to move out as soon as he turns so he can get away from his mother?

By anon40344 — On Aug 07, 2009

can an 18 year old girl legally date a 62 year old man in the state of Pennsylvania without anyone getting into any trouble?

By anon38300 — On Jul 25, 2009

I have a 21 year old son who has been in foster care since he was 2. I did not go through the foster care system in Pa. I placed him on my own. Although, the foster family did get an attorney. Right now my son is in a hospital with severe brain injury due to a hit and run accident. My question is who has the legal right to make decisions concerning my son. Me or his foster parents? I've been told that now that he's 21, only I can make life and death decisions. Is that true?

By anon36757 — On Jul 14, 2009

IN the USA, you can kick your kids out in the streets at age 18, but If they pay rent, you need to have them served with legal papers saying they are evicted.

By anon35524 — On Jul 06, 2009

my girl is 19 and says I cannot make her move out, that she is a tenant, even though she has never paid rent. I want her to leave. Do I have to use a legal process, like an eviction notice (we're in california)? How do I "kick her out"?

By radranda — On Apr 09, 2009

I am about to be 17 on may 29. Am I too young to move out if I have someone to take me in and hire me at their work?

By anon29750 — On Apr 08, 2009

having a discussion--when was the legal "adult" status changed from 21 to 18 in USA?

By anon28679 — On Mar 20, 2009

How come you cannot apply for grants without a parent co-signer at 21 (the very legal age), but you get put out of a foster home at 18 because you are an "adult"?

By anon23351 — On Dec 22, 2008

Can a 18yr old date a 30 year old man?

By anon22677 — On Dec 08, 2008

My son (17 years.) stole some items from a store. The amount is $440.96! And they took him to an adult jail instead of juvenile jail. Am i liable to pay this or is my son?

By anon22664 — On Dec 08, 2008

i will be 16 in 2 days.. i want to move out.. is that possible? My boyfriend is 17..

By anon21725 — On Nov 20, 2008

Im am 17 years old and im will be 18 in about 7-8 months and my mom is telling me that even though im turning 18 im not going to be able to move out on my own until im 21..i wanted to know if she could do that and if not what should i do.

By anon15956 — On Jul 25, 2008

my question is one a legal adult in texas that can make one's own decisions about one's life at the age of 17?

By anon14201 — On Jun 12, 2008

if someone is not from US and he is over 25, is he legal to visit adult websites?

By anon13583 — On May 30, 2008

My son is 18 years old and recently moved out of state to live with his father and stepmother while attending school. He has had extensive medical issues since birth and will have to see specialists for the rest of his life. Can he legally prevent his stepparent and father from attending his doctors appointments?

By chasrjac — On May 15, 2008

At what age is a male considered an adult in the USA?

By gabbie858 — On Apr 09, 2008

i going to be 17, and in Texas that makes me an adult. i want to know if i can move to Arkansas and still be considered an adult.

By anon11147 — On Apr 09, 2008

Im going to be 17 soon and im an adult in texas but can i move to arkansas even though ill be 17 soon? i need proof tooplease

By anon9179 — On Mar 01, 2008

If my daughter is 17 and sleeps with a 20 year old guy is that legal?

By anon6035 — On Dec 13, 2007

At what age a child can live on his own?

By vinrob — On Nov 05, 2007

Is it True That A Male is not considered an Adult until he turns 21,But a Woman is considered an Adult at the age of 18?

By anon4486 — On Oct 20, 2007

someone told me that if you had been through the system as a child, then the legal age changes from 18 to 21.... that sounded like a load to me, but I was wondering... is it true?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a America Explained contributor, Tricia...
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