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JoeLawyer, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 767
Experience:  Attorney in practice since 1996
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Resolved Question:

I have a friend who is 17 years of age who became pregnant by her boyfriend. Her parents now do not allow her to see her boyfriend or let the boyfriend come see her or the baby. She wants to be able to continue the relationship with the baby's father but the parents won't allow it.
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  JoeLawyer replied 10 years ago.
Emancipation laws vary by state. What state is she in?
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
The State that she is in is in Florida.
Expert:  JoeLawyer replied 10 years ago.

Hello Marlene:

Click here to see a good summary of emancipation law in Florida. According to Florida law, you are not emancipated by virtue of the fact that you have had a child. One must either reach the age of 18, get married (see 2006 Florida Statutes, Title XLIII, Section 743.01, here), or have a court declare you emancipated to be free of one's parental control. And, you cannot get married until you are 18 without parental consent.

To file a petition for a court order to become emancipated, the petition for emancipation must be filed by the minor's parent, guardian or guardian ad litem (see 2006 Florida Statutes, Title XLIII, Section 743.015, here).

So, unless the parents/guardians are in agreement, there is no way your friend can become emancipated until she turns 18 (at which time it happens automatically since she reached the age of majority).

However, the boyfriend has a legal right to see his child. See the 2006 Florida Statutes, Title XLIII, entitled Domestic Relations, Section 744.301 which can be viewed here, which provides that "The mother and father jointly are natural guardians of their own children and of their adopted children, during minority." So, the boyfriend is jointly entitled to be with the child and has a right to visitation and can seek to have this visitation enforced by court order if your friend's parents will not let him see his child.

I suggest contacting a family law attorney in Florida to see what other avenues might be available. You can find some Florida family law attorneys here.

I hope this helps and a positive feedback is always appreciated if this was useful to you.

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