Los Angeles, CA asked in Criminal Law and Health Care Law for California

Q: I'm 17 yo and pregnant, my due date will be in late June, after my 18th birthday. Can my 28 yo husband get in trouble?

I use the word "husband" because we are engaged and we are getting married in the middle of June 2019. He is currently 28, and will be 29 before the baby is born. My family is happy and accepting, as well. Could we dodge the problems by saying he's a family member and then adding him onto the birth certificate in the future? Also, would birthing the baby in a birth center be better instead of a hospital, when it comes to this? Thank you in advance!

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1 Lawyer Answer
Angelina Bradley
Angelina Bradley
  • Monterey Park, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Your fiance may want to consult with a criminal defense attorney. PC 261.5 is pretty clear it's a crime if an adult has sex with someone under the age of 18. I don't practice criminal law, so I don't know what the statute of limitations would be or the likelihood of prosecution.

But, if you're going to be 18 at the time of delivery, then the medical professionals working with you would no longer be bound to make a mandatory report to child welfare officials because you would no longer be a child. If the baby comes early, and you're still 17, there is a possibility that it would be reported depending on if the professionals involved felt it triggered their mandatory reporting duties. I suspect the answer is yes, but again, a criminal defense attorney will have a better answer.

I wish you and your family luck.

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