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How to help a defiant 16 year old adopted child get the relief necessary to leave his adopted home where he's not happy.

Gainesville, FL |

This child constantly disobeys and has started to tell the parents what he's not going to do as if he's the adult. Help!

Attorney Answers 3


  1. I am not sure your question is really a legal one, but rather one that calls for family counseling or social work. If he is legally adopted, then he is the child of the parents the same as if he were their natural child. The adoption makes no difference. It sounds like a family in crisis that needs family counseling, not legal help. I wish them the best! There are many family counselors in the Gainesville area that can be found with a simple Google search.

    Lawrence J. Marraffino
    Gainesville Family Law Attorney

    This answer cannot be a substitute for legal advice which requires more information from the client than can be obtained in this forum. Therefore this answer CANNOT BE RELIED UPON AS LEGAL ADVICE FROM THIS ATTORNEY.


  2. If the child wants to be emancipated, he could speak with an attorney that specializes in that service. He will need to demonstrate that he is self supported to a judge. The minor must be at least 16 years of age, and the emancipation petitionmust be filed by the minor's parents.

    The petition must show the court:
    ​1. That the minor is independent and able to support him or herself, and
    ​his or her child, if any.
    ​2. A specific plan for meeting the needs of the minor if the minor is not
    ​supporting him or herself at the time of petitioning.
    ​3. The he or she is not dependent on public benefits.
    ​4. The reasons why the minor needs to be emancipated.
    ​5. Evidence that the removal of disabilities of nonage is in the best
    ​interest of the minor.

    Otherwise, it does sound like Mr. Marraffino's suggestion regarding family counseling is the best course of action.


  3. Who are you to the child? Perhaps you can get the adoptive parents to agree that you will have the child for a time, and perhaps you could file a petition for custody by extended family.

    R. Jason de Groot, Esq., 386-337-8239