Rockville, MD asked in Juvenile Law for Maryland

Q: Is it possible to run away at 17 in Maryland, if you've already graduated high school?

I'm graduating very soon, but because I have a late birthday, I won't turn 18 for several more months. In the summer after high school, my parents want me to see a conversion therapist, which I'm not to keen on. If I leave home and stay with a friend, will I (or my friend/friend's parents) suffer legal consequences? If I'm located by the police, would they force me to return home?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: First, you and your parents should be aware that the Maryland State legislature just passed a law banning conversion therapy on anyone under the age of 18. The governor has said he will sign it. This pseudoscience has been widely discredited as junk science.

You can call Child Protective Sevices (CPS) in your county if you feel coerced or in danger of being forced into fake medical treatment that you disagree with or believe may be harmful. You may also file a court action for full or partial emancipation before you turn 18. Partial emancipation can be granted to allow you to make decisions about treatment related to your sexual orientation. CPS may assist you or refer you to another agency to assist you in filing for full or partial emancipation.

I doubt the parents of your boyfriend would get in trouble if you moved in with them. If the police were to be called, you can ask for CPS assistance if you fear that they will attempt to force you into harmful therapy you do not want.

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