Children's Health and Wellness

Informed Consent

What is an informed consent form?

Before surgery, your child's healthcare provider will give you a careful explanation of what procedure will be done and the risks involved. You will be asked to sign an informed consent form. It states in detail that you understand the risks and benefits of your child's surgery.

Who may sign the informed consent?

One or both parents usually sign for a minor child. But if the child is living with a legal guardian, the healthcare provider will ask the legal guardian to sign. Legal guardians will be asked to show documentation to prove this legal relationship exists.

Adolescents and informed consent forms

Parental (or legal guardian) consent is needed for any diagnostic or surgical procedure on a person under the age of 18. Because adolescents are able to contribute to informed decisions about their health and the treatment they will get, they should be included in discussions about surgery. Although not legally necessary, some adolescents like to sign the consent form for surgery. This is in addition to their parents or guardians.

Emancipated minors

An emancipated minor is a minor who has become a legal adult. He or she is responsible for his or her care as granted by the legal or court system. Before the court grants a minor an “emancipation,” he or she must meet certain state requirements. The criteria vary by state. The court must also determine that being emancipated is in the best interest of the minor. An emancipated minor may consent to his or her own medical care. 

Print Source: Consent in adolescent health care. UpToDate
Print Source: Informed procedural consent. UpToDate
Online Source: Informed Consent, American College of Surgeonshttps://www.facs.org/education/patient-education/patient-resources/informed-consent
Online Editor: Geller, Arlene
Online Medical Reviewer: Adler, Liora C., MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Dozier, Tennille, RN, BSN, RDMS
Date Last Reviewed: 11/1/2016
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