When Parents are Both Minors and Their Families Object

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Dear Esq.

I have a brief question. A friend of a friend has a younger sister, 16 years old, who became pregnant by a young man of the same age. In a nutshell, the girl’s family mistreats her now because she is Mexican and her boyfriend is black. The girl’s family (her older brothers and father) have beaten up this kid and vowed to never allow him access to the child once he/she is born.

My question is what legal recourse is available to him given his circumstances? Any information would be of great help. Thank you.


A Friend

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Dear Friend,

Unfortunately, because both of the prospective parents are minors, it certainly complicates things. Depending on in what state they live, the father may be able to bring a legal action on his own, or he may need to have his parents bring the action on his behalf. It may also be, given the situation, that both he and the mother can have themselves declared emancipated by the state, so that they are considered legally to be adults, and thus free from their parents’ (legal) control.

Your friend should start by contacting the local family law court, and finding out whether he can bring an action on his own behalf, and, if not, who can.

It is likely that no action, regardless of brought by whom, will be able to be filed until the baby is born, however it is wise for him to have everything ready to file the very day of the baby’s birth.

Good luck to your friend and his girlfriend; it sure sounds like they are going to need it.


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