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Is it legal to run away from home at the age of 16 in Oregon? If not, what are other options?

Eugene, OR |

I've heard you can legally move out/run away from home at the age of 16. Is this true? If not, what are other options on this topic?

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Filed under: Family law Child abuse
Attorney answers 1


You heard wrong. Running away from home is not a crime, exactly, but it could be the basis for a juvenile court case. And your parents would have the right to get state assistance to retrieve you.

Because it's not clear why you want to run away, I'm not sure what "other options" you'd be interested in. If your parents consent to it, you can live wherever you like. If your parents are being abusive, you can call your county child abuse reporting hotline. Information about these services in Lane County is online here:

Note that this can set a lot of machinery in motion that you will not be able to control. Child abuse reporting is not to be used in ordinary conflicts with one's parents - it's for extraordinary situations, like physical abuse or denial of food, shelter, and medical care.

You may want to seek an initial consultation with Youth, Rights & Justice, which is a Portland-area nonprofit that represents juveniles in court proceedings. They can probably give you better guidance if you give them a little more information. Check out .

Please read the following notice: <br> <br> Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and the Federal District of Oregon, and cannot give advice about the laws of other jurisdictions. All comments on this site are intended for informational purposes only, and are not intended to constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or solicit business. No posts or comments on this site are in any way confidential. Each case is unique. Information not contained in these posts may create significant exceptions to the advice provided in any response. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation. <br> <br>

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