There is an autistic boy aged 18. His parents have worked very hard to keep him mainstreamed his whole life. So he's been in private schools, but had lots of tutoring and lots of sessions at clinics that help with life skills and such. I would say he was "functional." I do not know whether his parents have had him somehow classified as "not competent", but they might have.

The boy graduated high school and has an interest in art (probably because he plays online games constantly and wants to do graphic design.) His parents found an art school where he can pursue his interests. So this is his "college." I believe (but I'm not sure) that he still lives with his parents.

The parents are Christian. The boy has decided that he's not Christian and further he's gender fluid. (I suspect his internet world was wider than his parents knew.) He decided he wanted to escape from his parents. It turns out that there is a group that "helps children escape religious parents." This group gave the boy money and cooked up an elaborate scheme to move the boy to another town. (The mom took the boy to a doctor's appointment, but was waiting in the car because of Covid things. While in the clinic, an ambulance came for the boy and took him to another town. He was long gone before the mom knew anything was afoot. Bizarre?)

A "normal" 18-year-old can tell his parents to shove it and take off. If someone aids them, then that's probably not a crime. But in this case, the boy is functioning in society only at a low level and only because his parents support him.

The question(s):

  1. If the boy is already legally declared not competent, then this organization has surely broken some laws. What would those be? It seems pretty close to kidnapping.

  2. If he hasn't already been declared not competent, then have any laws been broken by this organization? Maybe not kidnapping, but preying upon the mentally disabled is surely something...?

Location is Texas.

  • 3
    Interesting question: Typically mental competency is black or white: Someone must be authorized to make decisions and it's either the person or their guardian, but it can't be both. I think your question is about in "in--between" state of partial competency, but I actually don't know whether there is a legal concept of this.
    – Hilmar
    Oct 10, 2020 at 14:42
  • 1
    @Hilmar Yeah, there seem to be a lot of spin-off questions. If the parents take action now and get him declared incompetent, could the organization be charged with something? Etc. Too many what if's here.
    – B. Goddard
    Oct 10, 2020 at 14:49
  • 2
    He must be incompetent to be declared incompetent, or at least should be. Autism is a handicap, but doesn’t make you incompetent.
    – gnasher729
    Oct 12, 2020 at 11:27


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