When a minor is pregnant, what are the laws regarding their care and the baby's care?

Full Question:

I AM A NURSE AND HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT EMANCIPATION OF MINORS. WHEN A MINOR IS PREGNANT WHAT ARE THE LAWS REGARDING THEIR RIGHTS REGARDING THEIR SELF AND THEIR HEALTH CARE. DOES THAT CHANGE AFTER THEY DELIVER? DO THEY BECOME EMANCIPATED WHILE THEY ARE PREGNANT? DO THEY HAVE RIGHTS OVER THE BABY.
12/09/2007   |   Category: Minors   |   State: Kentucky   |   #13608

Answer:

Although Kentucky does not have a specific statute to address emancipation of minors, other sections exist which give the definition of an emancipated minor under certain circumstances.


214.185. Diagnosis and treatment of disease, addictions,
or other conditions of minor.

(1) Any physician, upon consultation by a minor as a
patient, with the consent of such minor may make a diagnostic
examination for venereal disease, pregnancy, alcohol or other
drug abuse or addiction and may advise, prescribe for, and
treat such minor regarding venereal disease, alcohol and
other drug abuse or addiction, contraception, pregnancy, or
childbirth, all without the consent of or notification to the
parent, parents, or guardian of such minor patient, or to any
other person having custody of such minor patient. Treatment
under this section does not include inducing of an abortion
or performance of a sterilization operation. In any such
case, the physician shall incur no civil or criminal
liability by reason of having made such diagnostic
examination or rendered such treatment, but such immunity
shall not apply to any negligent acts or omissions.

(2) Any physician may provide outpatient mental health
counseling to any child age sixteen (16) or older upon
request of such child without the consent of a parent,
parents, or guardian of such child.

(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, and
without limiting cases in which consent may be otherwise
obtained or is not required, any emancipated minor or any
minor who has contracted a lawful marriage or borne a child
may give consent to the furnishing of hospital, medical,
dental, or surgical care to his or her child or himself or
herself and such consent shall not be subject to
disaffirmance because of minority. The consent of the parent
or parents of such married or emancipated minor shall not be
necessary in order to authorize such care. For the purpose of
this section only, a subsequent judgment of annulment of
marriage or judgment of divorce shall not deprive the minor
of his adult status once obtained. The provider of care may
look only to the minor or spouse for payment for services
under this section unless other persons specifically agree to
assume the cost.

(4) Medical, dental, and other health services may be
rendered to minors of any age without the consent of a parent
or legal guardian when, in the professional's judgment, the
risk to the minor's life or health is of such a nature that
treatment should be given without delay and the requirement
of consent would result in delay or denial of treatment.

(5) The consent of a minor who represents that he may give
effective consent for the purpose of receiving medical,
dental, or other health services but who may not in fact do
so, shall be deemed effective without the consent of the
minor's parent or legal guardian, if the person rendering the
service relied in good faith upon the representations of the
minor.

(6) The professional may inform the parent or legal
guardian of the minor patient of any treatment given or
needed where, in the judgment of the professional, informing
the parent or guardian would benefit the health of the minor
patient.

(7) Except as otherwise provided in this section, parents,
the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, or any other
custodian or guardian of a minor shall not be financially
responsible for services rendered under this section unless
they are essential for the preservation of the health of the
minor.

311.732. Performance of abortion upon a
minor — Definitions — Consent requirement — Petition in
District or Circuit Court — Medical emergencies.

(1) For purposes of this section the following definitions
shall apply:

(a) "Minor" means any person under the age of eighteen (18);

(b) "Emancipated minor" means any minor who is or has been
married or has by court order or otherwise been freed from
the care, custody, and control of her parents; and

(c) "Abortion" means the use of any instrument, medicine,
drug, or any other substance or device with intent to
terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant with
intent other than to increase the probability of a live
birth, to preserve the life or health of the child after
live birth, or to remove a dead fetus.

(2) No person shall perform an abortion upon a minor unless:

(a) The attending physician or his agent secured the
informed written consent of the minor and one (1) parent
or legal guardian;

(b) The minor is emancipated and the attending physician
or his agent has received the informed written consent of
the minor; or

(c) The minor elects to petition any Circuit or District
Court of the Commonwealth pursuant to subsection (3) of this
section and obtain an order pursuant to subsection (4) of
this section granting consent to the abortion and the
attending physician or his agent has received the informed
written consent of the minor.

(3) Every minor shall have the right to petition any Circuit
or District Court of the Commonwealth for an order granting
the right to self-consent to an abortion pursuant to the
following procedures:

(a) The minor or her next friend may prepare and file a
petition setting forth the request of the minor for an order
of consent to an abortion;


(b) The court shall insure that the minor prepares or her
next friend is given assistance in preparing and filing the
petition and shall insure that the minor's identity is kept
anonymous;

(c) The minor may participate in proceedings in the court on
her own behalf or through her next friend and the court
shall appoint a guardian ad litem for her. The court shall
advise her that she has a right to court-appointed counsel
and shall provide her with such counsel upon her request;

(d) All proceedings under this section shall be anonymous
and shall be given preference over other matters to insure
that the court may reach a decision promptly, but in no case
shall the court fail to rule within seventy-two (72) hours
of the time of application, provided that the
seventy-two (72) hour limitation may be extended at the
request of the minor; and

(e) The court shall hold a hearing on the merits of the
petition before reaching a decision. The court shall hear
evidence at the hearing relating to the emotional
development, maturity, intellect, and understanding of the
minor; the nature, possible consequences, and alternatives
to the abortion; and any other evidence that the court may
find useful in determining whether the minor should be
granted majority rights for the purpose of consenting to the
abortion or whether the abortion is in the best interest of
the minor.

(4) The court shall enter a written order, making specific
factual findings and legal conclusions supporting its
decision as follows:

(a) Granting the petition for an abortion if the court finds
that the minor is mature and well informed enough to make
the abortion decision on her own;

(b) Granting consent to the abortion if the court finds that
the performance of the abortion would be in the minor's best
interest; or

(c) Deny the petition, if the court finds that the minor is
immature and that performance of the abortion would not be
in the minor's best interest.

(5) Any minor shall have the right of anonymous
and expedited appeal to the Court of Appeals, and that court
shall give precedence over other pending matters.

(6) No fees shall be required of any minor who declares she
has no sufficient funds to pursue the procedures provided by
this section.

(7) The Supreme Court is respectfully requested to
promulgate any rules and regulations it feels are necessary
to ensure that proceedings under this section are handled in
an expeditious and anonymous manner.

(8) The requirements of subsections (2), (3), and (4) of
this section shall not apply when, in the best medical
judgment of the physician based on the facts of the case
before him, a medical emergency exists that so complicates
the pregnancy as to require an immediate abortion, A
physician who does not comply with subsection (2), (3),
or (4) of this section due to the utilization of this
exception shall certify in writing the medical indications
upon which his judgment was based.

(9) A report indicating the basis for any medical judgment
that warrants failure to obtain consent pursuant to this
section shall be filed with the Cabinet for Health
and Family Services on a form supplied by the cabinet. This
report shall be confidential.

(10) Failure to obtain consent pursuant to the requirements
of this section is prima facie evidence of failure to obtain
informed consent and of interference with family relations
in appropriate civil actions. The law of this state shall
not be construed to preclude the award of exemplary damages
in any appropriate civil action relevant to violations of
this section. Nothing in this section shall be construed to
limit the common-law rights of parents.

403.213. Criteria for modification of orders for child
support and for health care — Effects of emancipation and
death of obligated parent — Commission to review guidelines.

(1) The Kentucky child support guidelines may be used by
the parent, custodian, or agency substantially contributing
to the support of the child as the basis for periodic updates
of child support obligations and for modification of child
support orders for health care. The provisions of any decree
respecting child support may be modified only as to
installments accruing subsequent to the filing of the motion
for modification and only upon a showing of a material change
in circumstances that is substantial and continuing.

(2) Application of the Kentucky child support guidelines to
the circumstances of the parties at the time of the filing of
a motion or petition for modification of the child support
order which results in equal to or greater than a fifteen
percent (15%) change in the amount of support due per month
shall be rebuttably presumed to be a material change in
circumstances. Application which results in less than a
fifteen percent (15%) change in the amount of support due per
month shall be rebuttably presumed not to be a material
change in circumstances. For the one (1) year period
immediately following enactment of this statute, the
presumption of material change shall be a twenty-five percent
(25%) change in the amount of child support due rather than
the fifteen percent (15%) stated above.

(3) Unless otherwise agreed in writing or expressly
provided in the decree, provisions for the support of a child
shall be terminated by emancipation of the child unless the
child is a high school student when he reaches the age of
eighteen (18). In cases where the child becomes emancipated
because of age, but not due to marriage, while still a high
school student, the court-ordered support shall continue
while the child is a high school student, but not beyond
completion of the school year during which the child reaches
the age of nineteen (19) years. Provisions for the support of
the child shall not be terminated by the death of a parent
obligated to support the child. If a parent obligated to pay
support dies, the amount of support may be modified, revoked,
or commuted to a lump-sum payment, to the extent just and
appropriate in the circumstances. Emancipation of the child
shall not terminate the obligation of child support
arrearages that accrued while the child was an unemancipated
minor.

(4) The child support guidelines table shall be reviewed at
least once every four (4) years by a commission consisting of
the following persons:

(a) The secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family
Services or a supervisory staff person designated by him;

(b) Two (2) members of the Kentucky Bar Association who
have at least six (6) consecutive years' experience and are
presently practicing domestic relations cases, one (1) member
from a metropolitan or large urban area and one (1) member
from a less populated area;

(c) Two (2) Circuit Judges appointed by the Chief Justice
of the Kentucky Supreme Court, one (1) from a metropolitan or
large urban area, and one (1) from a less populated area;

(d) One (1) District Judge appointed by the Chief Justice
of the Kentucky Supreme Court;

(e) Two (2) county attorneys appointed by the president of
the County Attorneys Association, one (1) from a metropolitan
or large urban area and one (1) from a less populated area;

(f) The Attorney General or his designee, who shall be an
attorney from his office;

(g) One (1) person who is a custodial parent;

(h) One (1) person who is a noncustodial parent;

(i) One (1) person who is a parent with split custody; and

(j) One (1) child advocate.

The members designated in paragraphs (g) to (j) of this
subsection shall be appointed by the Governor from a list of
three (3) names for each category submitted by the Cabinet
for Health and Family Services. If the status of one (1) of
these members changes, the member shall be replaced through
appointment by the Governor from a list of three (3) names
submitted by the cabinet.

(5) The commission shall make a recommendation to the
Kentucky General Assembly to ensure that the child support
guidelines table results in a determination of appropriate
child support amounts.

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