Michigan Parental Consent Law
About the Law
In 1990, the Michigan legislature passed a law, (P.A. 211) that requires anyone under the age of 18 to have the written consent of one parent or legal guardian in order to obtain an abortion.
This law does not apply to emancipated or married minors. If for some reason you cannot or are unwilling to get your parents’ permission, the law allows you to go to a probate court and ask a judge to grant you permission to waive parental consent. This process is commonly known as a judicial bypass.
This means you have the following options if you are considering abortion and are under the age of 18:
- You may talk with one or both of your parents and receive your mother or father’s written permission.
- You may choose an alternative option (carry your pregnancy to term and choose to parent or place for adoption).
- You may go to court and seek a judicial bypass.
If you would like, you may contact our office to review your options, receive support on how to talk with your parents, or learn how to go to court to seek a judicial bypass. We offer a free counseling session to any minor needing assistance through this process. If you choose to seek a judicial bypass, we will give you a letter to present to the judge showing you received an options counseling in our office.
Obtaining a Judicial Bypass
The Parental Consent Law gives you the right to go to court if you are unable to tell your parents about your pregnancy or your decision to have an abortion or if your parents have refused to give their permission for you to have an abortion. To obtain a Judicial Bypass you must first go to your county’s Juvenile Probate Court to fill out paperwork requesting a waiver of the requirement to receive your parent’s consent (in other words, you’re requesting the court’s permission for you to not involve your parents and to make your own decision independently). You can find your local Juvenile Probate Court by looking in the phone book white pages under “County Government” or by contacting our office or your closest Planned Parenthood.
Once you have completed the paperwork, an attorney will be assigned to you free of charge. If your attorney is not present when you file your paperwork, he or she must consult with you by phone within 48 hours of your request. Before you leave the court, a private hearing with the judge will be scheduled within 72 hours. All court costs are waived so you will not have to pay anything to the court for your hearing.
Everything is strictly CONFIDENTIAL! — Everything is private, your parents will not be contacted and all your court records will be sealed!
The attorney assigned to you will meet you at the court on the day of the hearing. It is wise to present yourself well to the judge so you should consider wearing your “good” clothes, clothes that are clean and neat. Do not wear jeans, sweats; Do wear clothes you might wear to a job interview, or church/temple. When you meet with the judge be polite, speak clearly and respond honestly. The judge will ask you questions designed to help him or her decide whether you are mature enough and well enough informed to make your own decision or if it is in your best interest to make your own decision.
The judge may ask you questions such as:
- Who do you live with? What is your relationship like with the people you live with? What responsibilities do you have at home?
- Do you go to school? What grade are you in? What type of grades do you get? What school activities or church/community activities do you participate in?
- Are you employed? Where do you get financial support? How do you spend your money? Do you save your money?
- What are your plans for the future? Do you plan to go to college or a trade school?
- Did you mean to get pregnant? Do you understand why you became pregnant when you did? How will you avoid getting pregnant in the future?
- Have you received counseling and if you did, from who? Did the counseling cover abortion, adoption and parenting? Do you feel you need more counseling regarding your decision?
- Why have you chosen to have an abortion? When and where do you plan to go for your abortion? How do you plan on paying for the abortion? Have you had an abortion before?
- Do you have any health problems? Who is your doctor? Have the abortion procedure, risks and aftercare been explained to you yet? Do you know what to do if you have complications?
- Do you understand how you may react emotionally to having an abortion? Who would you go to for support?
- What is your relationship like with your mother, father or guardian? Why do you feel you should not inform a parent or guardian about your pregnancy or decision to have an abortion? How do your parents generally respond when you do something that does not please them?
- Do you think that emotional or physical harm might come to you if you told your parents or guardian? What has your parent or guardian said or done in the past that leads you to believe you would be harmed if you asked for their consent to this abortion?
- What is your relationship like with the man you’re pregnant with? Is he involved in this decision?
- Who else knows about this pregnancy or your decision to have an abortion? Family, friends, school counselor, neighbor, minister, doctor? Has anyone given you advise and if yes, what did they advise you to do?
- Have you received any promise from anyone if you will have this abortion? Has anyone threatened you if you did not have this abortion? Are you making this abortion decision yourself? Was it your decision to seek a waiver from the court or someone else’s decision?
- Did this pregnancy happen when someone was being physically or sexually abusive to you?
The judge may make the decision whether or not to grant you a waiver while you are still in the hearing or the judge may need time to make a decision. The law states the court must make it’s decision within 48 hours of the hearing.
If the judge decides not to grant you a waiver, you can appeal the decision with the help of your attorney.
If the judge decides to grant the waiver, the judge will give you a written order stating that you have the court’s approval to make this decision on your own without your parents consent or involvement.
YOU MUST BRING THE WRITTEN ORDER FROM THE JUDGE TO YOUR ABORTION APPOINTMENT!!!
If you lose the written order you must go back to the court or your lawyer to get a copy.
We recommend that you contact our office to schedule your abortion appointment once you have filled out the paperwork at the Juvenile Probate Court and have your hearing with the judge scheduled. This will give you time to arrange the finances for your abortion, complete the requirements to satisfy the 24 Hour Consent Law (see the web page on menu on the left), and will assure that no time is wasted in getting you in as soon as possible.
If you have any questions or concerns about the Michigan Parental Consent Law please contact our office: (616) 458-3694 or (800) 345-1393↑ Back to Top
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