The student news website of Omaha Central High School

Nebraska’s Age of Adulthood

December 20, 2018

Having an age of adulthood that is higher than 18 in only a few states is ridiculous. Excluding a large amount of 18-year olds from legally being an adult is absurd. There is no reason why an adult in Nebraska in 19 when an adult in Iowa is 18.  

The age gaps between the states is so great, whereas it does not make sense. For example, a 14-year old can legally drive in the state of Iowa, and Nebraska is 15. There really is nothing different between Omaha and Council Bluffs, just idiotic state laws. The United States sees everyone as a legal adult at the age 18, so why is Nebraska different? The age 19 does not come with any extra privileges than the age 18. One of the main differences that comes with turning 19, is that in the state of Nebraska one can now gamble certain games.  

There no solid reason why two states out of the 50 need different ages of legal adulthood. A limitation that comes with this law, is not having the legal ability to enter into a binding contract or lease. Many college students are 18 with the desire to have their own apartment but are not able to make that decision legally on their own. Also, many children leave home after they graduate high school typically at 18, with bad familial relationships needing to obtain their own apartment.  

Yet, these needing teenagers can’t because they need to gain consent from a guardian. This law proves to be inconvenient in dire situations. If a drastic family change happens and n 18-year-old is living on their own, without health care, they are not legally able to gain proper health care on their own.   

This state law proves to make lives harder for the less fortunate. The nation-wide age of adulthood is 18, meaning that children who are wards of the state will be removed from the system at 18. The under-funded foster system proves to half more negative outcomes than positive. 

Having a legal age of 19 in Nebraska, results in children to remain in foster home for an extra year. The amount of neglect and abuse that is in foster homes, should cause the state of Nebraska to keep the legal age 18, rather than increasing it.  

Not only does this create issues for the child, but also the foster families. Finding homes for teenagers, especially those close to the age of adulthood is extremely hard, leaving the older kids in numerous unwanted families. 

Lastly single parents rely on child support for most of their child’s lives. However, at the age of 18 the child and parent should be able to support themselves or be steady. Having he age of adulthood be 19 causes child support to be given for an extra year.  

Yes, many people desperately need child support, but a child at the age of 18 is more than capable of caring for themselves, without purely relying on a percent of another person’s income, Parents should be responsible for taking care of their children but should not be entitled to giving them a percent of income.   

The age of legal adulthood should remain 18 throughout the United States. The reasoning proves to be un-substantial and continues to negatively affect lives rather than improving them.

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