During adolescence, as dependent children are growing into autonomous adults, difficult policy decisions have to be made about children's rights. Should children (minors) have the right to make important decisions without parental consent or knowledge? Part of the answer is fundamentally tied to developmental issues: At what age are adolescents competent enough or autonomous enough to make their own decisions? This paper selectively reviews the literature on the development of adolescent autonomy and explores its implications for family planning policy-in particular, for minors' rights to contraceptive and abortion services. © 1982.
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