Information for Our Patients Under 18

There are a few more steps that a patient under the age of 18 needs to take to receive abortion care. Please feel free to call us at 703-532-2500 and ask to speak with a health educator. They can walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have.

Questions & Answers If I Am Under 18:

The Virginia Parental Consent law does not affect your freedom to choose a legal and constitutionally guaranteed medical service if you are an “emancipated minor”, which means that:
  • You are married or divorced; or
  • You are on active duty in the US Armed Forces; or
  • You are willingly living separate and apart from your parents with your parents' consent; or
  • You have a court order of emancipation
In almost all cases, if you are an unemancipated minor and you want to end your pregnancy, you must either:
  1. Get consent of one of your parents, your guardian, custodian or loco parentis; or
  2. You can meet privately with a judge who may authorize the abortion without your parents' consent.
Your parent/guardian will need to sign a form acknowledging consent for decision to receive abortion care.  This can happen in one of two ways:
  1. If  one of your parents, guardian, custodian or loco parentis can come with you to Falls Church Healthcare Center:  they simply will complete and sign a “consent authorization”, a form we can provide, and have it notarized by one of the notaries we have on staff. The Notary will require a valid photo ID from your parent/guardian.
  2. If one of your parents, guardian, custodian or loco parentis cannot come with you to Falls Church Healthcare Center:  they will need to print out and complete the following Consent Authorization Form (English / Españoland have it notarized  The notary will require a valid photo ID from your parent/guardian and may require proof of identity from you.  Please bring the notarized form to your appointment.
We encourage you to talk to your parent if you can do so safely (see "Mom, Dad, I'm Pregnant" - resources for teens and their parents) and we can help you talk to them; please feel free to speak with one of our health educators (703-532-2500).

However if you cannot tell a parent, you could use a judicial bypass. A judicial bypass is when you can go to a judge (juvenile court) who will have a private discussion with you to decide whether you can have an abortion without parental consent or without notifying your parents. Falls Church Healthcare Center or another pro-choice group can put you in touch with a volunteer lawyer to help arrange to talk with a judge. The lawyer can be with you and the judge. All of this is free. For more information, call our health educators at 703-532-2500.
  • In DC: there are no parental consent or notification requirements.
  • In MD: it is required that the physician notify a parent. The law allows the physician to waive notification if it would lead to the minor being abused, if it would not be in the minor’s best interests, or if the minor is mature.
If you'd like to find out about the laws in other states, please refer to Guttmacher Institute's An Overview of Abortion Laws
NO. The law requiring parental consent only applies to abortions for teens who are younger than 18. You, at any age, have a legal right to talk with a counselor, and to get birth control and to obtain other GYN medical services in complete confidentially.

We suggest reviewing the following resources:

“Mom, Dad, I’m Pregnant”