Emancipation, when used in reference to people who haven't yet reached the age of majority (18 years), means that a minor is no longer under parental control. The minor, unless kicked out of the house by his or her parents, will usually be required to provide evidence of financial independence. An emancipated minor can sign a lease for housing, though landlords may be reluctant to enter into a lease with a minor, as minors are not required to fulfill their obligations in the contract. In most states, to become emancipated, a person must be at least 16-years-old, though in California, a person can file for emancipation at the age of 14.

Emancipated minors are considered legal adults, meaning that they cannot be subjected to child labour laws, they can sue or be sued, and are responsible for any criminal activities that they are involved in. An emancipated minor cannot, however, vote, or purchase cigarettes, alcohol, or pornography. The minor's parents are relieved, in most cases, relieved from parental obligations, including the obligation to provide support.

Not all states have legal processes for emancipation. In states such as New York, there is no legal emancipation status. A minor who supports himself financially and makes his own living arrangements is considered emancipated. A minor who emancipates himself in New York State cannot receive legal papers stating that they are emancipated. A child may be considered emancipated if he or she gets married or joins the armed forces with parental consent. Minors may be emancipated to continue their education in the area that they reside. A minor may also be considered emancipated if he or she receives a high school diploma

There are several reasons that a person under the age of 18 may wish to become emancipated. Abuse or neglect are legitimate reasons for emancipation, but are not the only reasons for emancipation, which many people mistakenly believe. A minor may be emancipated simply because he or she has finished high school and wishes either to get a job, attend college, or join the military. A pregnant minor is not officially emancipated unless she can support herself. She has the right to obtain medical care and welfare benefits for herself and her infant. A minor may also seek emancipation to claim his or her own wages, bypass child labour laws, or because his or her parents have mismanaged large amounts of money, which may be the case with child actors or athletes.

Many minors, it seems, are unaware that they can seek emancipation. No one is saying that emancipation is going to be fun or easy by any means. I, however, believe that emancipation should be an option for minors who for whatever reason, wish to be emancipated. Everyone matures at different rates, meaning that some people are going to be able to care for themselves at 16, while others might not learn how until they are 35 or older.

I have my own reasons for seeking emancipation. You do not have to think that they are legitimate reasons. You can dislike my reasons. You can call me an idiot, but I don't really care. My reasons are good enough for me, which I think is the point. I am so determined to be emancipated that I am willing to work as hard as I can for as long as I have to, every single second of every single day, weekends and holidays included, as long as I get a CHANCE to make this work out. I'm not saying that it will work well or even work at all. I just want a chance to prove to myself and to others that I can accomplish a goal. It would be entirely worth all the hard work in the world if I could wake up in the morning, and think to myself that everything I have is mine, and that I have it because of myself.

I want to finish high school where I started it. I have decided to pursue early graduation, meaning that I'm entering my last year of high school. Attending a new school at this point makes no sense to me. I'm not asking my parents, family or friends to support me: I want to support myself. I want to be able to lay in bed at night, and say to myself, "I've worked hard, and I'm earning my living." What I really want, more than anything else, is to be able to accomplish a goal that I've had for years.

The freedom that I have living with my mother is beside the point. My sisters, at this point, don't need a babysitter. I get up on my own in the morning, make my coffee, cook my food, do my own laundry, and can clean up after myself. I don't go out and spend my money as soon as I get it just because I can. Although I don't think that paying bills will be fun in any way, I want to know for myself that I'm capable of doing it.

Mostly though, I'm sick of the arguments. I'm sick of all the yelling, the sarcasm, the anger, and walking around on eggshells, wondering who's going to set someone off this time. I don't want it, like it, or need it. I want to be accountable to only myself. You can say that I'm immature, that I don't know what I'm talking about. I would tell you to prove me. Prove me right or prove me wrong, but prove me.