In Favor of Emancipation for Children

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In Favor of Emancipation for Children

Imagine that you're a young teenager living with you mother. She left your father, an abusive and violent man, when you were 10. Your mother is killed in a car accident 5 years later. Because your mother did not prepare a will, the state requires you to live with your father. The only thing you could do to save your own life is to terminate your father's rights by becoming emancipated.

Many people have heard or read about the situations of child celebrities such as Jenna Malone, Drew Barrymore, Christina Ricci, Michelle Williams and Macauley Culkin or child athletes like Dominique Moceanu, but few have heard of a more compelling situation as that of Aaron Kipnis. This young man was brutally beaten by his stepfather at the age of eleven. Instead of punishing his stepfather, the state of California made the eleven year old a ward of the state. Being a ward, in the states juvenile system, was a horrific experience. For the next five years, Kipnis began a cycle of running away, getting caught, and living in temporary housing. It was not until he was sixteen that a parole officer recommended he pursue legal emancipation. His freedom was finally granted at seventeen (Rupp 1&2).

Emancipation is a court process that gives a teen legal independence from his or her parents of guardians and is granted adult civil rights except those prescribed by the law (Emancipation). Emancipated minors will not be automatically entitled to do certain things such as vote or legally drink alcoholic beverage.

Though child abuse is one of the main reasons why children want to be emancipated, there are other reasons for children to want adult responsibilities. One of those reasons is children actors are required to work extremely long hours. Directors and producers are limited by child labor laws. The children actors want to work their high salaries jobs. In order to continue their work load and keep their high income, it is to their benefit to become emancipated.

In other cases, there may not be abuse or high income that is a concern, it simply might be that the parent or guardian and the child can not handle being around each other. So instead of continuing constant battles, the child and parents agree that it would be the best for everyone to seek emancipation. Usually the toughest requirement to meet is financial independence.

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