Colorado law requires that if you are under 18 years old, you must notify your parents of your intent to have an abortion, unless you are emancipated (living apart from your parents and supporting yourself).
Three options are available to you:
- You may notify a parent yourself: Your parent must certify in writing that they have received notice. A printable certification form is available for your use if your parent is not coming to your appointment with you.
- We can notify your parent for you by certified mail
- You may ask a judge to excuse you from this requirement (Judicial Bypass)
We encourage all abortion patients to seek out sources of support. For teens facing an unexpected pregnancy, parental support, if possible, is particularly important. If parental support is not possible, Women’s Health is prepared to help.
Additional information and resources are available to assist you.
Information on Parental Notification:
Colorado law requires that any minor under 18 years old notify her parents or other legal guardian of her intent to have an abortion. This Notice contains information about the Parental Notification law in Colorado.
1. The law requires that both parents be notified, unless you request that only one parent be notified. A court-appointed guardian or foster parent is considered your parent for purposes of this law.
2. If you are living with a grandparent, adult aunt or adult uncle, they may be notified rather than your parents.
3. If you are at least 15 years old, living apart from your parents and supporting yourself, or are married, you are emancipated and are not required to notify your parents.
4. If you voluntarily notify your parent(s)/guardian/relative, the law requires that person to certify in writing that they have received notice. If your parent will not be accompanying you to the procedure, we require that a Certification of Notice be signed and a copy of your parent’s driver’s license or other valid identification with signature be provided.
5. If you would like us to notify your parent/guardian/relative, we will do so to the person and at the address you provide, by certified mail. The law requires that you wait 48 hours after the certified letter is mailed before you receive abortion services.
6. If you do not want to notify your parent/guardian/relative of your intent to have an abortion, you may ask a judge to determine that you are mature enough to make this decision alone, or that it is in your best interest to not notify your parents. This process occurs quickly and no fees are charged. Resources are available to assist you through the process.
7. You do not have to notify your parent/guardian/relative if you are the victim of abuse or neglect by the parent/guardian/relative who would otherwise be entitled to receive notice, but only if the abuse or neglect has been reported to the proper authorities. If you tell us that you are the victim of abuse or neglect we are required by law to report this to the proper authorities.
8. This law requires that parents be notified, however, it does not require that parents consent to or approve of your decision to have an abortion. Also, notification to your parents does not mean that your parents are entitled to know any of your confidential medical information.
If you would like help talking with your parents, trained counselors are available for you.
A counselor can meet with you alone to suggest strategies for you to use, or can meet with you and your parent(s).