The age of majority
in Idaho is 18. That means that the parent or guardian as authorized by the parent is legally responsible for the minor child. The mother is correct, if the minor child leaves the custody of the stepparent, he can be considered a runaway and you can be in legal trouble for harboring a runaway.
In general only the parents of the child have rights to custody, a parent can authorize a stepparent to be responsible for the child. The child's own father would have rights to request custody of the child, if the father is in this child's life. Otherwise, you do not have any rights to seek custody of the child. Further, since the child is a minor he has no legal rights to leave.
If the child's current environment is exposing him to a risk of harm, abuse or neglect, then child protective services needs to be notified to remove the child from the dangerous condition. If the mother is aware of the dangerous conditions this child has been exposed to, she can be liable for child neglect
and/or endangerment. This unfortunately will mean that the child can be removed from the home and placed in foster care
. From there you would have to speak with the caseworker to see if they would consider you for placement, but in general the relatives would be first in line to have custody of the child.
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