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Parenting --Teens/My girlfriends son and his girlfriend


I live in Pennsylvania. I rent a house, and I live here with my girlfriend of 11 years and her two teenage children. Her son, who's 15, now has a girlfriend who is also 15. She started coming over to our house. I was curious to know if I'm legally obligated, in any way, to ensure they don't have sex in my home.  If they have sex, and she were to become pregnant, could I be sued? Fined? Arrested/jailed? This is new territory for me, and any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time

Hello Mike,
I'm not an expert on the laws in your state, but typically parents (or other adults# are not held to be legally responsible for the sexual behaviors of their children. However, if you contribute to delinquency, that's a different matter. If you and your girlfriend offer reasonable supervision and have rules for the behavior and conduct of her son and his girlfriend #and you enforce those rules and limits), then I don't believe you would be seen as contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
When adolescents have sex, it does not usually lead to the involvement of the authorities unless one is much older or one is much younger.
James Windell

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James Windell


I am a parent trainer, psychotherapist, and author specializing in parenting issues.During the past 40 years I`ve worked with parents with discipline problems and challenging children. I give frequent lectures and workshops related to discipline, social skills, and aggressive children. I consult with various agencies and schools where there are child behavior problems. I am listed in the American Psychological Associations` media panel as an expert on parenting and am frequently quoted in leading magazines and newspapers.


I have worked in a juvenile court as a clinical psychologist and as a psychotherapist in private practice. In the Oakland County (MI) Juvenile Court, I developed an award-winning parent training program for parents of adolescent delinquents. In addition I have done group therapy with adolescent delinquents using a social skills-building model. I have consulted with courts, schools, churches, preschools, and domestic violence shelters in areas of parenting.

I received my BA with a major in Psychology in 1963 from Wayne State University. I got my MA in Clinical Psychology from Oakland University in 1972.

I am a member of the American Psychological Association and the Michigan Psychological Association. I have written pamplets, newspaper articles, and professional journal articles. I have been the Coping With Kids columnist for several newspapers for 26 years, and my columns appear weekly in the Staten Island Advance. I have been the author or co-author of 16 books. My books include, 8 WEEKS to A WELL-BEHAVED CHILD, CHILDREN WHO SAY NO WHEN YOU WANT THEM TO SAY YES, 6 STEPS TO AN EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT TEENAGER, and THE FATHERSTYLE ADVANTAGE. My most recent parenting book (2012) is THE EVETYTHING CHILD PSYCHOLOGY AND DEVELOPMENT BOOK. I have appeared on over 180 radio and TV shows related to my books and parenting. For more information about me, my books and columns, go to my website at

I have an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Oakland University.

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