Portland, OR asked in Family Law for Oregon

Q: If an 18 year old has mental disabilities, can a parent keep full custody until they are 21?

My significant other is 18, and wants to leave her household. Her adopted mother is saying that she cannot leave until she is 21. My significant other is terrified that this is true. And therefore, is terrified to leave. Is this a possibility? Or are the fears unjustified?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Joanne Reisman
Joanne Reisman
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: At age 18 the disabled child is legally an adult. However anyone who feels that they are disabled to the point they need assistance can apply to the court to be appointed as their legal guardian. It is a scientific fact that the brain of any human doesn't reach full maturity until age 25. I don't think it's unreasonable for the mother to want to be protective and keep their child at home. So they can probably leave legally but it is uncertain what if any steps the mother will take to gain guardianship. If it's not hurting this person to live at home a bit longer, it might be best to support this plan as well.

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