Updated: November 2020
When a young person seeks health care, ideally a parent or guardian is involved. But not every minor has a relationship with their parents that makes this possible. In some cases, communication with parents or guardians about needing certain kinds of health care is difficult, and involving a parent can even be dangerous. In extreme cases, young people have been mistreated or forced to leave their homes when a parent discovers that a child is sexually active. Fear of the consequences from disclosure prevents some young people from seeking necessary treatment or preventive care, leading to serious health consequences. This card outlines the provisions in federal and New York State law that allow minors to consent.