Emancipation is when a minor has the legal rights and responsibilities of an adult.

When a minor is emancipated, their parents do not have control of their child and are not required to provide support.


Can I get emancipated before I turn 18?
Minnesota has no law that allows you to apply for emancipation.

However, judges have allowed youths age 16 or older to be emancipated when:

  • They are subject to a “child in need of protection or services” (CHIPS) case in juvenile court.

What rights do I have if I get emancipated?

  • Sign contracts for an apartment or other services.
  • Own a car or truck.
  • Get general assistance.

Can I vote if I’m emancipated?
No. Under the law, you must be at least 18 years old to vote.

How do I get emancipated if I have a case with child protection?
For youth with a CHIPS case (Child in need of Protection or Services) who have been placed in foster care, courts have to decide where the youth will live.
Some options include living with a different parent or in a foster home. One option for youth ages 16-17 is to live independently, either alone or with others.

For the court to allow a minor to live independently, the court must first decide whether:

  • The youth is mature enough to live on their own.
  • The youth can make good decisions.
  • It is in the best interest of the youth.

If the court allows a youth under 18 to live independently, the county board still has to approve the court’s decision. However, it is very rare for this to happen.

Talk with your CHIPS lawyer about wanting to live on your own. They can advocate for you with the court.


Disclaimer: This document is intended to be informational. It is not legal advice concerning your specific situation. Please see a lawyer if you need advice about a specific situation.