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Minority; the status of an individual who is below the legal age of majority.

At Common Law, the age of legal majority was twenty-one, but it has been lowered to eighteen in most states of the United States. Infancy indicates the condition of an individual who is legally unable to do certain acts. For example, an infant might not have the legal capacity to enter into certain contracts. Similarly, infancy is a ground for Annulment of a marriage in certain jurisdictions.

Although many states have lowered the age of majority for most purposes to eighteen, they frequently retain the right to mandate support of a child by a parent beyond that age in the aftermath of Divorce.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. although the popular use of the word means the early years of age up to seven, in law, it is under-age or minority. Historically this meant under 21 years, but statutes adopted in almost all states end minority and infancy at 18. An "infant" cannot file a lawsuit without a "guardian ad litem" (one purpose guardian) acting for him/her, in most states cannot marry without parental permission, and cannot enter into a contract that is enforceable during his/her minority. (See: minority)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

INFANCY. The state or condition of a person under tho age of twenty-one years. Vide Infant.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Experts were unable to find any injuries which may have caused baby Saffron's death and believe she died as a result of sudden unexpected death in infancy.
THE Infancy Gospel of Thomas begins innocently enough with a story of Jesus at five years of age playing on the Sabbath, modelling twelve sparrows out of clay.
The observance of Divine Infancy Month recalls the first Christmas more than 2,000 years ago when Jesus humbled Himself and became completely human while remaining completely divine.
Melanotic neuroectodermal tumor of infancy typically lacks pronounced rosette formation and diffuse expression of neuroendocrine markers as seen in neuroblastoma.
"Acid-suppressive medications and antibiotics should be used during infancy only in situations of clear clinical benefit," the authors write.
Becker, "Melanotic neuroectodermal tumor of infancy," Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, vol.
All reported cases of ossifying renal tumors of infancy have been unilateral and there have been no reports of progression or malignant disease.
Early in his excellent monograph, The Idea of infancy in Nineteenth-Century British Poetry: Romanticism, Subjectivity, Form, D.
This study, written to be accessible to general readers as well as students and scholars of religious studies, looks at the Infancy Gospel of Thomas and the Proto-gospel of James, which are no longer included in the Christian New Testament.
"New parents may weigh many factors when deciding whether to have a pet in the home, but findings from this and other studies suggest that exposure to pets in infancy may be beneficial to prevent development of asthma and allergies later in childhood," said Gergen.
Noting Aquinas's explicit rejection of the apocryphal stories, Dzon uses his thinking as a structure with which to explore a series of wider discussions about the apocryphal infancy narrative traditions, the paradoxicality of the Incarnate God, and representations of Christ's youth and expressions of anti-Judaism.
Furthermore, data from previous studies have suggested a possible association between antibiotic use in infancy and risk of childhood obesity.