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Can I somehow get out of my adoption and live on my own or with new family?

Westport, MA |

* I am 16
* I do not like my current family, they dont accept me for who I am.
* When they get mad, sometimes they hit me. I am terrified.
* My original parents hit me at 1-3, so im traumatized.
* Was adopted at 4, in state of Massachusetts.
* Has gotten to point I hate my life, dont feel safe and am depressed to the point of self harm.
**** I really need a way out... Anything... Please..****
this is serious ..... My email is: for any additional followups... Please

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Attorney answers 4


You want to speak with a trusted adult, like a teacher or counselor or priest, someone that you can trust to tell your story. Under the law, you are obligated to remain with the persons who have custody over you, including your adopted parents. They can call the police to have you returned if you decide to run away and they can have you committed if you try to harm yourself. It really becomes a nonstarter if you try to do this yourself.

Speaking with someone, even if it seems like it will go absolutely nowhere, will help you. I cannot say that it will be easy, it won't, but you have your life in front of you. You are 16 years old. The law says 18 is when you are an adult. At that point, you can do whatever you want to cut your adoptive family out of your life if you so wish. In the meantime, you can do many different things, including volunteering with things in your community, participating in school activities, studying at the library, getting yourself out of the house as legally as you can. If you have one particular place that causes you discomfort, minimize your time there as much as possible. It may seem to be a coping mechanism but it is possible for you to do without having to deal with these people.

Back to the adult, what you want to discuss is your fear and your concerns for your safety. Although parents can exercise corporal punishment (spanking), there are limits that can be exceeded by persons who otherwise mean well. Your situation is also something that may need to be examined more closely. That is why talking with a person can help, especially if they are willing to help you get the help you need. A school therapist or counselor may be the best person to discuss this with.

This answer is provided as a general opinion to a question posted on an internet forum. This does not create in either party the expectation that an attorney-client relationship has been entered into between the original poster and the Law Office of Reid Seino, LLC. Any information provided should not be solely taken as legal advice but in the context of general information. Please seek legal representation for any specific legal questions.


I am sorry you are going through this ordeal, Jake. Atty. Seino had some great advice for you.

I would only add that, if the who you are, that your adoptive family doesn't accept you for is an LGBTQ or questioning person regarding your sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression*, you might find help through PFLAG, BAGLY or GLAD or the Mass. Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHS).

NOTE: This answer is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your area who regularly practices in the subject matter which your question is about. You should develop an attorney client relationship with the lawyer of your choice so that your communications will be subject to the attorney client privilege and have the other benefits of a professional relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific matter as partially described in the question.


Other counsel are absolutely correct. In addition, you should consider contacting your local office of the Department of Children and Families, which is the Fall River Area Office (see below link). Furthermore, if you do not feel safe and are thinking about or have done anything self-harmful, you can also walk into any emergency room and begin a process which will comprehensively assess your situation.

Although it can be a hard to step to take, talking to a responsible adult outside of your situation is your best way out of an abusive family situation.

If you have any doubts about starting these processes, talk one-on-one with a lawyer; many of us have free consultations and can answer questions about your options.

This message does not contain confidential information, is intended for the discussion of abstract legal issues, and does not create a co-counsel or attorney-client relationship in the absence of a written fee agreement. Do not post a reply to this message with confidential information. If you wish to communicate confidential information, you should contact me directly at; I would be happy to offer a free consultation concerning your case.



It is my hope that you have reached out to some of the contacts other colleagues of mine have suggested to you in previous responses.... That sounds a little like a "cop-out" but is not meant to be.... Sixteen (16) is a very difficult age to be, remembering back to those (VERY) long ago days when I was your age.....

NO ONE wants you to harm yourself....that ONLY HURTS YOU... not anyone else -- so PLEASE do NOT "resort" to that "option"....

If it helps any -- which is very questionable coming from an OLD FART like me - EVERYONE is confused when they are 16 years old.... I was, and I am sure each and every one of my colleagues who also responded were also....

Personally, I HATED the fact that my Mom HATED me, pretty much from when I was born onward.... she was not well... which does NOT make it any "better"... but, still, sometimes when I look back, at least it makes it somewhat "understandable".... not "better" just understandable....

I am unsure how your "current" family does not "accept" you for "who you are," so I will not offer any advice on that....

Instead, I just note that there is no such thing, really, as a "functional" family.... every family has a past, every family has "troubles"....

You are NOT alone in that aspect... and I can only hope that this helps in some small way.....

If you feel you need MORE of a "pep" talk, please call one of us.....


No attorney-client relatonship is created in responding to this question, and advice provided is based solely on very limited facts presented, and therefore may not be correct. You are advised that it is always best to contact a competent and experienced with the practice of law in the county in which you reside, particularly as it relates to family law, child support, custody and visitation (a/k/a "parenting time") issues, including 209A abuse-prevention restraining orders (a/k/a "ROs" in legal-speak), regarding un-emancipated children, under the age of 22.

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