Does getting emancipated require parental consent?

UPDATED: Aug 26, 2011

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Does getting emancipated require parental consent?

I’m 17 years old and I just found out I was 6 weeks pregnant 2 days ago. I am looking for maternity homes in VA right now and I may have to be emancipated to register in some of them and to also apply for Medicaid for my child.

Asked on August 26, 2011 Virginia


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You are a very smart and forward looking young woman.  Here is the law in Virginia. Do not be thrown off by the use of "his" in the statute:

§ 16.1-331. Petition for emancipation.

Any minor who has reached his sixteenth birthday and is residing in this Commonwealth, or any parent or guardian of such minor, may petition the juvenile and domestic relations district court for the county or city in which either the minor or his parents or guardian resides for a determination that the minor named in the petition be emancipated. The petition shall contain, in addition to the information required by § 16.1-262, the gender of the minor and, if the petitioner is not the minor, the name of the petitioner and the relationship of the petitioner to the minor.

Now, here is the content of the petition as required:

§ 16.1-262. Form and content of petition.

The petition shall contain the facts below indicated:

"Commonwealth of Virginia, In re  ..." a

(name of child)

child under eighteen years of age.

"In the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court of the county (or city)

 of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . ." 

(the above is known as the caption of the action It generally looks something like this:

In the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court

In the County (or City) of XXX



Commonwealth of Virginia:


In re so and so (your name here), a child under the age of 18 years.


1. Statement of name, age, date of birth, if known, and residence of the child.

2. Statement of names and residence of his parents, guardian, legal custodian or other person standing in loco parentis and spouse, if any.

3. Statement of names and residence of the nearest known relatives if no parent or guardian can be found.

4. Statement of the specific facts which allegedly bring the child within the purview of this law. If the petition alleges a delinquent act, it shall make reference to the applicable sections of the Code which designate the act a crime.

5. Statement as to whether the child is in custody, and if so, the place of detention or shelter care, and the time the child was taken into custody, and the time the child was placed in detention or shelter care.

If any of the facts herein required to be stated are not known by the petitioner, the petition shall so state. The petition shall be verified, except that petitions filed under § 63.2-1237 (not applicable to you)  may be signed by the petitioner's counsel, and may be upon information.

You should really consider confiding in some adult that you trust.  This can be a VERY overwhelming time for anyone at any age and for you I would think especially.  You are going to need help and support.  Good luck to you and to your baby. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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