Minor Consent

Minor Consent

So what does minor consent really mean?  It means that you don't need anyone to give permission for certain medical services.  In the state of California teens can get the following services without needing permission from their parents or anyone else:

  • Birth Control, including Emergency Contraception
    You have the right to make your own decisions about using birth control and no one can force you to use birth control if you don't want to.  There are many different kinds of birth control, from condoms, to the Pill, to the Shot. Learn more about your birth control choices in our Birth Control FAQ.
  • Testing and Treatment for STDs (ages 12 and older)
    Permission is not required to get tested and treated for STDs if you are at least 12 years old. STD testing and treatment is confidential so your doctor can't tell your parents or guardians.  Learn more about the various types of STDs and their treatment by visiting our STDs FAQ. To find a clinic for testing, click here.
  • Pregnancy Testing and Prenatal Care
    If you think you may be pregnant, you can get tested without getting permission from anyone else.  The earlier you know that you're pregnant, the more choices you have so you should take a pregnancy test right away. If you are pregnant, what you do is your choice.  You can stay pregnant and become a parent, place the baby for adoption, or end the pregnancy by having an abortion.
  • Abortion Services
    Abortion is a legal, minor consent service in California. That means you have the right to get an abortion and you don't need permission from anyone.  If someone tells you otherwise, they are misleading you. Visit our abortion resources page for a list of organizations you can contact for additional information.

You also have the right to consent to additional services for mental health, rape, sexual assault, child abuse, and drug/alcohol treatment.  Visit www.teenhealthlaw.org for a complete list of health services. 


If you are pregnant and decide to have the baby, you also have the right to:

  • Receive child support from the father
    If you decide to raise your child yourself, you have a right to some "child support" from the father, even if you're not married to each other. But the courts decide how much, and it can be hard to collect.
  • Place your baby up for adoption
    If you aren't ready to be a parent, but don't want to have an abortion, it's your right to place your baby for adoption. Adoption means giving up your legal rights as a parent, as well as your responsibilities.  Until all the final papers are signed, you still have the right to change your mind. After that, the adoption is permanent.
  • Stay in your school
    It's your right to keep going to school while you're pregnant and after your baby is born. It's against the law for schools to treat you differently because you're pregnant or a parent. Some schools have special programs for teen parents. But you do not have to change schools or classes just because you're pregnant.
  • Take maternity leave from work
    Most working women in California have the right to take maternity leave. It's also illegal for most companies to fire you or discriminate against you in other ways because you're pregnant.
  • Change your mind after the baby is born
    The law lets new parents leave their baby at a hospital or other safe places like fire stations, up to three days after birth, without getting in trouble or having to give their names. Then they have two weeks (14 days) to change their minds. You can also choose to place the baby for adoption, even if he or she isn't a newborn anymore.