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Legal emancipation for gender diverse minors

Some young people in our community choose to cut legal ties with their parents or guardians as part of a gender transition. For young people who want this, you usually have to go to court with them. You usually have to be at least 14 years old and can’t be a legal adult yet (usually age 18). A judge may grant your request if it seems to be in your best interest.


  • You have to pay for everything yourself.
  • Your parents are no longer required to help you.
  • You will need a job where you make enough to live and transition.
  • Minors have to follow child labor laws that limit how much they work.
  • You must still go to school.
  • You are still bound by age of consent laws.
  • The process usually takes half a year.


You can do the following things:

  • Consent to your own medical care
  • Sign legal contracts
  • Keep and spend your own earnings
  • Get a work permit without your parent’s consent
  • Sue someone
  • Live where you want
  • Stay out as late as you want
  • Sign up for school or college
  • You can undo emancipation if all parties agree

Only some kinds of people might benefit from this

  • people whose parents won’t support their transition
  • orphaned minors
  • abandoned by parents
  • taken from parents

Ask yourself the hard questions:

  • What would happen if you lost your job?
  • What would happen if you got sick and could not work or take care of yourself?
  • Are you willing to risk having a complete break with your family?


Justipedia (

Nolo (

Disclaimer: This is legal talk, not legal advice. Laws vary by jurisdiction and change often. Some of this may not apply to you. It is presented without warranty. It may contain errors or omissions. You must do your own research.

Note: This page is for young people ages 13 and above.