Adult Family Member Notification of Abortion for Minors

Starting August 15, 2013, Illinois law says that if you decide to have an abortion and you are under age 18 your health care provider must notify an adult family member 48 hours before you have the abortion.

An adult family member is someone over 21 who is your parent, grandparent, step-parent who lives with you, or your legal guardian. With your permission, the health care provider can tell whichever adult family member you choose.

"Notification" is not the same as "consent". Notification just means that your doctor lets an adult family member know that you will have an abortion. You will tell us which adult family member to contact. The adult family member does not have to give you permission to get the abortion and does not have the right to tell you that you cannot get the abortion.

An adult family member does not need to be notified:

  • If you are married, divorced, or widowed.
  • If you are emancipated by court order.
  • If you get an order from the court that says you don't have to give notice after a successful "judicial bypass" hearing.
  • If you give your medical provider a signed statement that says you are a victim of sexual abuse or physical abuse or neglect by an adult family member.
  • If your doctor decides that there is a medical emergency.

If these exceptions don't apply to you, there are a few different ways to go about notification. You only need to do one of the options listed below.

  • An adult family member can come to the appointment with you.
  • We can talk with your adult family member on the phone 48 hours before you come for your appointment.
  • An adult family member can sign a letter that says they don't need notice. Here is a sample letter. Bring the signed letter with you to your appointment.
  • If you are referred to us from another doctor who already provided notification, they can fill out a form describing that notification.

More information about these options can be found on this information sheet.

If you call the Ryan Center to make an appointment and you are under 18 you will be told about the requirement to notify an adult family member. Go ahead and schedule an appointment and someone from our staff will follow up with you to discuss what needs to happen next.

If an adult family member calls to make the appointment, they can receive notification at that time.

You can reach our clinic at 773-834-9995 or email us at ryancenter@bsd.uchicago.edu if you have questions.

 

 

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