“Do i have conditions on where i choose to live…”

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This question was submitted to Kids Help Phone by a young person and answered by one of our professional counsellors.


Hello, I am a [edit: age and province] and I know that legally I am allowed to leave home. I have my boyfriends house to live and his whole family knows me so its not as if I am living with a stranger. So if my parents call the police to come take me back home, can they under any circumstance take me back home? and if they can what would be those circumstances? Like do i have conditions on where i choose to live because I am [edit: age] or am I basically allowed to live wherever I want without my parents permission.


I’m so glad you decided to write in and ask these important questions. I am happy to answer them for you! It’s understandable that you would like to know ahead of time any road blocks you may face as you make these decisions for yourself about what’s best for you moving forward. According to Justice for Children and Youth: In the province you selected, at 16 years of age or older, you can generally decide where you want to live and you do not need a legal guardian. You can live with someone else against the wish of your legal guardian. The other person will not be charged with a criminal offence as long as they do not assist you in leaving home. If you are under 16 years old, (or if you and your parents live in another province where the age for leaving home is 18 years), your parents can contact the police to have you returned home if you are living in a place that is not safe; in other words, a place where you are at risk of physical, emotional or sexual abuse.” (for more on this: http://jfcy.org/en/rights/leaving-home-rights/) Therefore, it’s very unlikely that the police can bring you back home as you are at a legal age to leave home. Sometimes young people will contact non-emergency police just to confirm this for peace of mind. If you like, you can also speak directly with a lawyer on the Justice for Children and Youth website http://jfcy.org/en/ask-a-lawyer/ or by calling them at 1.866.999.5329 as they can best clarify any questions you might have about this specific to your situation. I hope this helps to answer the questions you had tonight. Please know we are here if you have any more questions or need further support as things unfold, ok? Wishing you all the best with this!! Bye for now.