Turning 18

  • The Law
    Section 300.347(c) of IDEA states: "In a State that transfers rights at the age majority, beginning at least one year before a student reaches the age of majority under State law, the student's IEP must include a statement that the student has been informed of his or her rights under Part B of the Act, if any, that will transfer to the student on reaching the age of majority, consistent with §300.517."


    The Age of Majority in California is 18. Therefore, the student needs to be informed of their rights ON or before their 17th birthday. All educational rights will transfer to the student when they become 18. For students age 18 and older, the IEP should document how and when these students were informed about the transfer of rights.

    Any required IEP notices shall be provided to the student who has reached the age of majority (age 18).
    If the student is determined to be incompetent to act on his own behalf in assuming his/her rights, and a judge has appointed a legal conservator, then the rights do not transfer to the student. In this case, the IEP should indicate who the conservators are.

    If a student has reached the age of 18 and has not had a legal conservator appointed, but who is determined to have the ability to provide informed consent with respect to the educational program, someone shall be appointed to represent the student's educational interest. The state shall establish the procedures for appointing the parent of the child, or if the parent is not available, another appropriate individual, to represent the educational interests of the child.

    A Word of Caution
    Since any person reaching adulthood is presumed by the state to be competent, no other persons, including the person's parents may legally make decisions on his or her behalf. This is true even if a mental health agency or social service agency has determined for their own programs, that the person is mentally handicapped. An adult individual is presumed competent unless a court formally appoints someone as guardian.


    Publications by The State Bar of California

    law    Kids and the Law: An A-to-Z Guide for Parents
     18  When You Become 18: A Survival Guide for Teenagers

    Helpful websites

    Conservatorship - California Courts
    Guardianship - California Courts

    Additional Legal Resources - Bet Tzedek