Maybe the most important things to think about when you and your child are planning for their future is rights – what rights do you and your child have with regards to education? At home? At the age of 18?
Right to an Education
In the United States, young people have to go to school. Until your child reaches a certain age, it is illegal for him/her to not be in school. The most important law protecting your child's rights is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDE) that guarantees that students with disabilities get a free appropriate public education.
To learn more about IDEA, visit http://idea.ed.gov/
To talk to another parent about your rights, contact the Center for Family Involvement at (877) 567-1122 or www.centerforfamilyinvolvement.org
Rights at Home/Rights at age 18
It can be confusing to know what your child's rights are at home. Can you keep your child from getting her nose pierced? Can you legally ground your son? Some questions we have as parents are legal issues while others are questions that speak to your family values. Either way, it is important that you talk openly with your child about the decisions she or he wants to make and how much support they need to do that. The bottom line is that until your child reaches the age of 18 –
an adult –
you have the right to limit what he or she can do.
To learn more about supported decision-making, visit http://www.supporteddecisionmaking.org/
To get free legal advice about guardianship and alternatives to guardianship, contact the disAbility Law Center of Virginia at http://dlcv.org/
or (800) 552-3962