Rights of a 16 year old minor


We have a just turned 16 year old son who is possibly the Father of his girlfriends child. We have heard from a social worker in Rutherford County that rights change for a child in North Carolina when they turn 16 but, she did not have what the specific rights are that change. We know there was infidelity about the time of conception. The young lady’s family wants our son to just accept that the baby must be his and move into their home. We want to protect the rights of our son and are very resistant to him moving in with the family until paternity is established. They are 19 months apart and she will be 18 in the beginning of October.

My questions are these:
Does he at 16 have the legal right to leave our home and move where he wants?
Is there any protection for him with establishing paternity? Can it be ordered by social services? Should we get social services involved again?
Where can I find out what Grandparent legal rights are for this state? Do we as parents since he is a minor have any parental rights/responsibilities over the new child?

Many thanks,

You can permit your child to move out at 16, or your child may petition the court for legal emancipation at age 16, which would allow him to move out. NC Gen Stat § 7B-3500-3509 discusses the considerations and process of juvenile emancipation.

You can establish paternity by either filing a complaint seeking such, or you can go through child support services. Child support services will conduct interviews at the onset of the process and special care is given when the alleged parent is a minor. The court will appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the minor father.

You are responsible for providing child support for your grandchild until the minor parent is 18 or emancipated.