Michigan Laws Pertaining To Minors
Definitions as recognized by Michigan law
Minor: Anyone under 18 years of age.
Emancipated minor: A child who reaches the age of 18; is determined by court order to be emancipated (released from parental care and responsibility); is married; or on active duty in the armed forces (MCLA 722.4).
General rule: The law generally does not treat the provision of any confidential health care to minors as a crime, except for abortions in some states. However, parents may file civil lawsuits against medical providers and collect money damages when their minor child is provided medical services without their permission, on the theory that a minor cannot give effective consent to medical care, but there are many exceptions.
Laws related to minors in Michigan
Abortions: Parental consent or a court order is required (MCLA 722.901-909). Minors also have to comply with the 24-hour waiting period prior to obtaining an abortion (MCLA 333.17015).
Adoptions: An unemancipated minor may not place his/her child for adoption without a parent or guardian signing the temporary placement papers also (MCLA 71023b (3)).
Outpatient mental health: A minor age 14 or older may request and receive up to 12 outpatient sessions for four months of outpatient counseling (MCLA 330.1707). Regarding mental health hospitalization a minor may be hospitalized if a parent or agency requests hospitalization and the minor is found suitable for hospitalization (MCLA 330.1498). There is no law regulating inpatient care.
Prenatal and pregnancy-related health care: Minors may consent to prenatal and pregnancy-related care regardless of their marital status. A minor may also consent to the health care of his/her child (MCLA 333.9132).
Substance abuse: Minors may consent to treatment or services (MCLA 333.6121).
Venereal disease/HIV: Minors may consent to medical or surgical care for diagnoses and treatment of a venereal disease or HIV (MCLA 333.5127 and MCLA 333.5133).
Tattooing: Prior written informed consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian is necessary before tattooing, branding or body-piercing on the minor (MCLA 333.13101-333.13103).
Tanning: Prior written informed consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian is necessary before a minor may use the services of a tanning facility (MCLA 333.13407).
Family planning devices and birth control information: Minors may purchase contraceptive devices and receive family planning information (Carey v. Population Services International). Additionally, in Doe v. Irwin (U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit, 1980) the court held that the distribution of family planning devices to minors without notice to parents was valid.
Sexuality education: Each school district that offers instruction in reproductive health, including family planning, shall establish an advisory board. Parents must have an opportunity to review materials and may request that their child be excused from the class (MCLA 380.1507). Family planning devices or drugs may not be dispensed or distributed in a public school (MCLA 380.1507). There are no state laws affirming a minor’s access to contraceptive services. Sex education must do at least the following: (a) Discuss the benefits of abstaining from sex until marriage and the benefits of ceasing sex if a pupil is sexually active. (b) Include a discussion of the possible emotional, economic, and legal consequences of sex. (c) Stress that unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases are serious possibilities of sex that are not fully preventable except by abstinence. (d) Advise pupils of the laws pertaining to their responsibility as parents to children born in and out of wedlock. (e) Ensure that pupils are not taught in a way that condones the violation of the laws of this state pertaining to sexual activity, including, but not limited to, sections 158, 335a, 338, 338a, 338b, and 520b to 520e of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.158, 750.335a, 750.338, 750.338a, 750.338b, and 750.520b to 750.520e. (f) Teach pupils how to say “no” to sexual advances and that it is wrong to take advantage of, harass, or exploit another person sexually. (g) Teach refusal skills and encourage pupils to resist pressure to engage in risky behavior. (h) Teach that the pupil has the power to control personal behavior. Pupils shall be taught to base their actions on reasoning, self-discipline, a sense of responsibility, self-control, and ethical considerations such as respect for self and others. (i) Provide instruction on healthy dating relationships and on how to set limits and recognize a dangerous environment. (j) Provide information for pupils about how young parents can learn more about adoption services and about the provisions of the safe delivery of newborns law, chapter XII of the probate code of 1939, 1939 PA 288, MCL 712.1 to 712.20. (k) Include information clearly informing pupils that having sex or sexual contact with an individual under the age of 16 is a crime punishable by imprisonment and that 1 of the other results of being convicted of this crime is to be listed on the sex offender registry on the internet for up to 25 years. (MCLA 380.1507b) Sex education instruction must include age-appropriate information clearly informing pupils at 1 or more age-appropriate grade levels that having sex or sexual contact with an individual under the age of 16 is a crime punishable by imprisonment, and that 1 of the other results of being convicted of this crime is to be listed on the sex offender registry on the internet for up to 25 years(MCLA 388.1766a).
Abstinence education: There are state and federal guidelines for children from 9-17 years of age to participate in abstinence programs (PA 114 of 1999, section 1106a).
Pregnant students: A person who has not completed high school may not be expelled or excluded from a public school because of being pregnant (MCLA 380.1301 and R340.1121 of the Michigan Administrative Code).
Mandatory reporting: Michigan’s Child Protection Law requires almost all officials, i.e. teachers, health care workers, etc., to report to Family Independence Agency (FIA) “the pregnancy of a child less than 12 years of age or the presence of a venereal disease in a child who is over 1 month of age but less than 12 years of age.” This is reason to suspect child abuse and neglect (MCL 722.623).
Driving: Operator’s license shall not be approved for a person who is 17 years of age or less (MCLA 257.308).
Hunting: A minor must be accompanied by someone 17 years of age or older (MCLA 324.43517).
Tobacco products: A person under 18 years of age shall not possess or smoke cigarettes or cigars, or possess or chew, suck, or inhale chewing tobacco or tobacco snuff, etc. in public places (MCLA 722.642).
Alcohol: Alcoholic liquor shall not be sold or furnished to anyone under 21 (MCLA 436.1701).
Marriage: A marriage shall not be contracted by a person who is under 16 years of age (MCLA 551.51).
Employment: A minimum age is 14 years of age with exceptions (MCLA 409.103).
Sexually explicit information: Unlawful to disseminate information to minors (MCLA 722.675).
Curfew: A minor under the age of 16 shall not be in public between 12 midnight and 6 a.m. unless with parent or guardian (MCLA 722.752).
Criminal sexual conduct (CSC): Michigan law allows minors to consent to sexual activity if they are 16 or older (MCLA 750-520a-750.5201).
Confidentiality of Information
Mental health services: Information on mental health services shall be kept confidential and not open to public inspection (MCLA 330.1748). However, a psychologist may share the information under certain circumstances, if the patient is a minor (MCLA 333.18237).
Family planning services: Under Title X of the Public Health Service Act (42 USC 300a) and under the Medicaid program (42 USC 1386), teens must be provided confidential contraceptive services. In addition, the federal constitutional right to privacy protects an adolescent’s decision to attempt to avoid unwanted pregnancy. (Carey v. Population Services Int’l, 431 US 678 – 1977) This right supersedes any claim parents may bring against a clinician for providing non-negligent family planning services to the minor (Doe v. Pickett, 480 F. Supp. 1218, 1223 – 1979).
Explanation of benefits: All health insurance companies may send an explanation of benefits to the policy holder, usually the parent, when a minor child receives medical care. However, those enrolled in managed care programs do not receive an EOB.
Mandatory reporting: Michigan’s Child Protection Law requires almost all officials, i.e. teachers, health care workers, etc., to report to Family Independence Agency (FIA) “the pregnancy of a child less than 12 years of age or the presence of a venereal disease in a child who is over 1 month of age but less than 12 years of age. This is reason to suspect child abuse and neglect (MCL 722.623).