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Standards Relating to Rights of Minors

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1980
137 pages
These standards for the rights of minors, part of a series of volumes of standards for various aspects of juvenile justice administration, focus on relationships between the child and the parents and between the child and third parties, against a background of family interests.
The standard for the age of majority recommends age 18, given that the responsibilities imposed by our society on such persons make it essential that they be treated as adults for all purposes. While exploring the many purposes it has served as a handmaiden of substantive law doctrines, the standard for the traditional doctrine of emancipation recommends that for most purposes, the issues treated under the rubric should be reexamined as aspects of substantive doctrines. The standard also recommends that a judicial emancipation doctrine should not be available. The standard concludes with statements of emancipation criteria, geared to the minor's separate residence and financial independence. Standards dealing with the issues of child support present policies on adult support obligations and when such obligations should terminate. Other standards deal with minors' access to medical treatment and describe the circumstances under which a minor may obtain medical services without parental consent. One group of standards provides a schema for regulating youth employment. The underlying policy of the standards is to minimize restrictions on minors' employability by reducing or eliminating many of the current legislative encumbrances contained in child labor laws. The concluding section of standards focuses on contract obligations of minors. The standards recommend that contracts of minors between the ages of 12 and 18 be enforceable if one of three additional criteria is met. A dissenting view is provided, along with a bibliography of 22 listings. (Author summary modified)

Date Published: January 1, 1980