When someone thinks about legal age laws, the first type of law that likely will come to mind is that of the age of majority. In most states, the age of majority is 18. This is the age when a person is legally recognized as an adult. However, there are other also other laws related to age. They also indicate when, for example, a person may enter into contracts or file lawsuits.
Age of Majority in Oregon
Each state sets its own "age of majority," while different states also set different ages for different rights and responsibilities. Each state differently specifies what minors can and can't do.
In Oregon, like most other states, the age of majority is 18. Minors under the age of 18 still retain certain rights and responsibilities in specific circumstances. For instance, a 14-year-old can consent to mental health treatment under Oregon law.
Oregon Age Statutes
The details of Oregon's legal age statutes are listed in the chart below.
Age of Majority
Under ORS 109.510, the age of majority is 18.
Eligibility for Emancipation
- Under 109.520, emancipation may occur by marriage.
- Under 419B.552, the criteria for eligibility for emancipation are laid out. Amongst the requirements are that a minor demonstrate to a court that they are able to handle their own expenses and to live apart from their parents.
Contracts by Minors
- Under 109.697, a minor may enter into leases or rental agreements, when they are emancipated and living apart from their parents or guardians. Under this statute, they may do so without the consent of a parent or guardian.
- Under relevant state laws, minors may also take out loans for educational purposes and other necessaries.
Minors' Ability to Sue
Under R. Civ. Pro. 27(A), a minor may file a lawsuit with the assistance of guardian, conservator, or guardian ad litem.
Minors' Consent to Medical Treatment
- Under O.R.S. § 109.640, a minor may consent to medical, dental, and vision-related cares without the consent of a parent or guardian.
- Under O.R.S. § 109.675, a minor may consent to treatments or outpatient diagnoses for psychiatric care or care related to substance abuse. Under this statute, minors may do so without the consent of a parent or guardian.
- Under O.R.S. § 109.610, a minor may consent to medical care for sexually transmitted infections without the consent of a parent or guardian.
- Under O.R.S. § 109.670, a minor who is 16 years of age or older may donate blood without first obtaining the consent of a parent or guardian.
Legal Responsibilities of Minors and Parents
While most states do not have laws that explicitly address emancipation, Oregon has such a law, which is listed in the chart above. The state also allows for minors to be emancipated by marriage. At the age of 14, minors can file for emancipation in Oregon. They must demonstrate that they can live independently from their parents, financially support themselves, and that being emancipated is in their best interest. Before a juvenile is emancipated or turns 18, they will normally be treated as a minor in criminal cases, including age and status offenses.
Oregon Legal Age Laws: Related Resources
State laws determining legal ages and the rights of minors vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case. You can find more information and resources in FindLaw's section on Family Law. You can also contact an Oregon family law attorney if you would like legal advice regarding a juvenile case or a family law matter.