WHAT SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE CAN I GET ON MY OWN?
You have the right to make your own decisions about your sexual and reproductive health. This means you can say “yes” or “no” based on what you want for yourself. You do not need permission from a parent, caregiver, social worker, or any one else.
You can get the following health care services on your own at any age without adult permission:
- birth control
- pregnancy testing
- prenatal (pregnancy) care
- care following rape or sexual assault
The following health care services are available to you without adult permission if you are age 12 or older, and with adult permission from a parent or guardian if you are under the age of 12:
- prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases and infections (STIs) including HIV
- testing for HIV
- mental health counseling
WHAT WILL MY DOCTOR KEEP CONFIDENTIAL (PRIVATE)?
Your doctor cannot share information with anyone about your sexual and reproductive health, or about anything you may ask him or her, without your written consent. Your right to privacy is guaranteed by law. There are a few exceptions. If your doctor believes you are in danger, or that you are a danger to someone else, or if you have been a victim of abuse or assault, the doctor is required to make a report so that they can get you help.
CAN I ASK MY DOCTOR TO EXPLAIN WHAT THEY WILL KEEP CONFIDENTIAL?
Yes! You have the right to ask your doctor to explain how they will protect your privacy before you get any health care.
CAN I CHOOSE MY DOCTOR?
Yes! You have the right to choose your own health care provider, including the doctor or clinic you visit.
Your caregiver and social worker must help you get there, even if they disagree with your sexual and reproductive choices, or have to drive you a long distance.
HOW CAN I GET HELP WITH TRANSPORTATION TO THE DOCTOR/CLINIC?
Your caregiver, group home, or social worker must help you get to the doctor or clinic that you choose. This is true even if they disagree with your choices, prefer that you see a different doctor, or don’t want to drive you to an appointment. The law says that they are responsible for helping you get to the appointment.
CAN I CHOOSE THE TYPE OF BIRTH CONTROL I WANT?
Yes! You have the right to the birth control method or protection of your choice, including:
- IUD (Intra-Uterine Device)
- condoms, including the female condom
- birth control pill, patch, or shot
- dental dam
- emergency contraception (morning after pill)
- medications to prevent STIs
When you are in foster care, the family home, group home, juvenile probation facility, or any other placement where you live must allow you to have and keep the birth control or protection of your choice.
Get more information about your birth control options here.
AM I ALLOWED TO HAVE BIRTH CONTROL?
Yes! When you are in foster care, you have the right to keep your personal items, including birth control and protection, in your own private storage space.
If your foster family, group home or probation department facility is not letting you keep birth control in your own private storage space, you should tell your attorney.
CAN MY FOSTER PARENT, GROUP HOME, OR SOCIAL WORKER TAKE AWAY MY BIRTH CONTROL OR PUNISH ME FOR HAVING IT?
No! Birth control (including all forms of birth control, such as condoms and pills) cannot be taken away from you as a punishment or due to your caregiver’s religious beliefs or personal feelings. You have the right to be free from unreasonable searches of your belongings.
If your caregiver or group home has taken away your birth control or has punished you for having birth control, you should tell your attorney.
CAN I BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST?
No! You have the right to fair and equal access to care and services, regardless of your race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, HIV status, religion, disability or other factor. Discrimination is illegal.
If you feel that you have been discriminated against, you should tell your attorney.
WHO ELSE CAN HELP ME?
If you are having trouble getting the health care you need, in addition to notifying your attorney, you may want to ask for help from one of these representatives:
- The Los Angeles Foster Care Ombudsperson (213-253-0117)
- The California state Foster Care Ombudsperson (1-877-846-1602)
- Community Care Licensing Division of the California Department of Social Services (1-844-538-8766)