Ahhh, Freedom from Oppression on the new Underground Railroad for unhappy GLBT youth. Moho Hawaii blogs about a 29 year old cousin who intends to insist his 16 year old cousin in fleeing from oppressive Utah. I must say I can't wait to hear how this one plays out(Adult gay male relative lures Utah teen from his home-wait till the homophobes seize on that one).
As a parent, I do not support this kind of meddling from well intentioned outsiders and we had quite an issue with one of our hetero kids with it. With the Kid, he also wanted to move out early and I blocked it. Kind of. But not really, because here was the deal, "Kid, you meet all the requirements the court would have, i.e. show that you are capable of managing your financial affairs, etc. and I WILL HELP you fill out the paperwork for your emanicipation petition and support you before the court in getting it."
This is an issue that pops up in my professional life from time to time. There are adults who are happy to provide other people's children a place to sleep on a couch or with their child, to have unprotected sex, drink, use drugs and not go to school. I've not seen the gay version of this, but I've certainly seen it with hetero kids. "Oh, and Mom, me and her have a paper route, and her Mom can get extra food stamps if I come live with them and extra money from the state." And, in all fairness there are others who are just willing to help otherwise mostly responsible teenagers with real or perceived problems.
In our later case, the Kid didn't like the offer to assist him in becoming emancipated. At all. And the funny thing was as eighteen neared, he was not quite so ready to go and needed some ever so gentle motherly nudging to launch from the nest. We are all happy now and he has completed high school, which he would not have if emancipated or "moved out," is furthering his education and ability to support himself, and, I think is relatively happy NOW.
GLBTQ youth NEED their parents. They need them for access to Medical Care. Does 29 year old cousin have the ability to ensure that if there is a serious organic component to depression of teen cousin, he can get treatment for that? Some more than others need them for the structure and responsiblity. Is 29 year old cousin really ready to enforce some reasonable rules or is it going to be party hardy central in his apartment day and night? Hell, is he ready and financially able to feed the typical older teenage boy? And, I could go on.
If it is really that oppressive, then the local child protection agency would be involved and placement with the cousin may indeed be an option, but, interfering with the parent child relationship when that point has not been reached is indefensible. Adult cousin should offer to help in anyway he can, but if rebuffed should stay out of state and mind his own business until cousin is eighteen.
The prodigal blogger
5 years ago