Girls and boys have to be in separate bedrooms?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 10-24-2010, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My friend just told me that there is a law that brothers and sisters, after a certain age, have to be in separate bedrooms. Does anyone have any idea what she's talking about? I seriously doubt that's actually a law.....

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#2 of 18 Old 10-24-2010, 11:17 AM
 
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Wow, I hope not! That's pretty messed up.

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#3 of 18 Old 10-24-2010, 11:17 AM
 
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I believe apartment complexes sometimes have rules pertaining to how many children and adults can share a bedroom but I am pretty sure even those aren't gender-based- perhaps she heard something through the grapevine about someone having trouble with a landlord over kids sharing a room and it got garbled?

I would read the individual laws in your state to be sure- I googled this and there was a lot of hearsay in different states but no links to the actual laws or codes pertaining to this issue. It's definitely not a federal law.
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#4 of 18 Old 10-24-2010, 11:21 AM
 
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Yeah, I also know that in my state it is a rule/law (whatever) with low income or income assistance housing. We had a friend who had 4 kids-the oldest 2 were boys, so they were "allowed" to share a room, but the younger two were girl/boy so they each had to have their own room and then she had to have her own room, I think her youngest was about 2 at the time. It made it very difficult to find assisted housing for them-needing a 4 bedroom house/apt. Oh and the younger 2 were like 14 months apart in age.
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#5 of 18 Old 10-24-2010, 11:25 AM
 
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Yes, it's for low-income housing and housing assistance. It's a way of calculating the minimum number of bedrooms "adequate" for a family. I think it is to prevent the state from making a family have to place opposite-sex children in the same room due to offering to small of an apartment, not to forbid families from doing so.

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#6 of 18 Old 10-24-2010, 11:28 AM
 
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really? i thought that only applied to foster children.

i did not know there was anything legally.

i can see those guidelines for low income houses to figure out how much space a family needs.

but otherwise does anyone enforce that?

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#7 of 18 Old 10-24-2010, 01:21 PM
 
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I'm not aware of any actual laws. I do think after a certain age opposite sex children sharing a room in inappropriate, mostly after they get to the pre-teen/teen age, but I don't know about any legal issues.

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#8 of 18 Old 10-24-2010, 02:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penquinmom View Post
Yeah, I also know that in my state it is a rule/law (whatever) with low income or income assistance housing.
This was true when we lived in NY and had to be on assistance for a while(really long story). We were told that a boy and girl could share a room up until the older child reached 5yrs, then they must be in seperate rooms.

If you're not low income or on assistance(HUD housing), then I would let the kids decide their sleeping situations. We just tried having dd(5) and ds(3) in the same room for a while, but dd was begging to have her own room by the end of the week.

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#9 of 18 Old 10-24-2010, 02:44 PM
 
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In some states and municipalities, there are laws like this, designed to prevent overcrowding in rental housing. They only apply if you rent, though, or if you're receiving housing assistance, and they're only rarely enforced, and it's more likely to be your landlord than you that gets in trouble on this, anyway.

We ran into this when I got pregnant with my twins. We were going to be over the limit for how many people could live in our apartment. What happened was that my landlord was required to release me from my lease before the term was up, so that I could look for a rental house that would accommodate our new larger family.

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#10 of 18 Old 10-24-2010, 03:07 PM
 
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Yes, some states and/or apartments have rules about this, as well as how many people you can have per bedroom (regardless of gender, I believe). Usually it's after 18 months of age, they aren't "allowed' to sleep in the parents bedroom, and that only 2 kids were allowed per room. That has been our experience when we lived in CO, and in several different apartments. If you lie on the lease and omit one of the kids, for example, then you can get in trouble for violating the lease requirements and get kicked out.

I think when you own your own home, you can have the kids sleep/share rooms regardless of age and gender. Maybe only if CPS gets involved do you have to have separate beds, at least? Not sure about this.

Thinking about my older two children (DD, 9; DS, 7) they have their own rooms, but much prefer to sleep in each other's room most nights. They have always been close like that, and maybe it's b/c they had to share a room as toddlers/preschoolers years ago.

eta: it's not just a low-income housing thing, IME, unless that's a hard rule for opposite genders sharing rooms. One townhome we applied for years ago (we had 3 children, with the 4th on the way), said our family was too big for the space - even though there were 3 bedrooms. It may not have been b/c of a law, but they can definitely discriminate based on number of occupants.

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#11 of 18 Old 10-24-2010, 03:21 PM
 
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Most places I've lived have had the rule of no more than 2 people per bedroom past 1 year. I've never had them state how I laid out the rooms and I now have one bedroom setup for three and a single in the other bedroom. My older two (boy/girl) shared a room until my dd was 12 and my ds was 10. I am laying out the bedrooms now to give my dd her own room because her room is dangerous for littler ones.

I thought the boy/girl rule was only enforced in foster care.
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#12 of 18 Old 10-24-2010, 06:37 PM
 
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yep, every time I have been in a shelter or p[ublic housing, you could not have boys and girls in the same room. In the shelter you could up to a certain age but in public housing you cannot. Also you cannot share a room ith your child. Tht is why I am still on the waiting list for the projects this time around. Because I legally HAVE to have a three bedroom. Even though my dd is 6 months old and my other child is 2.

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#13 of 18 Old 10-24-2010, 06:57 PM
 
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hmmm me thinks we will be very happy to be on a better financial track after tax time and able to look more seriously at buying....we are in a tax-credit (not 30% of your income but supposedly lowered rent and there is an income cap) apt. 3 bedrooms--with soon to be 4 kids and my mom. I'm surprised nobody's said anything to us...tried to either make us move to a 4 or leave. (they do have 4 bed. here but none were open when we moved in and none are currently to my knowledge. they are a *little* more on the rent, we just don't want to have to be locked into another lease.)

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#14 of 18 Old 10-24-2010, 09:01 PM
 
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I know that the numbers thing is a law in my area when you rent an apartment/condo. A friend of mine had to move when she gave birth to her third child. That tiny child made one too many for their two bedroom townhouse.

But otherwise, the gender things usually applies to families in low-income housing or in foster care. My foster/adopted kids (boy and girl) can share a room until one child turns six.
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#15 of 18 Old 10-25-2010, 07:51 AM
 
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Another little kink in this issue - we are a same-sex couple. When I gave birth to DD, DP had to adopt her to become her parent. In order to adopt, we need an official home-study done where they come and make sure we have a legal amount of bedrooms and bedroom space for our family. We own a 3 bedroom house, so I don't expect a problem for me adopting the twins - they'll be young enough to still be in our room at the time, and we can say we plan on DD1 and DD2 sharing and DS getting the 3rd room. But if we have more - especially more girls - we may be over our square-feet per child requirements, and could, at least in theory, be denied the adoption

I do understand the space requirements for kids adopted from foster care, since they are dealing with traumas and adjusting to a new home and it may be hard for them to be squeezed in with new siblings, but we're talking about children who are born into this home.

Right now we're planning to put the 5 of us in one bedroom/family bed anyhow. The plan is to move the three kids out into one bedroom when they get older. When that stops working we'll split them up into two rooms, either DD1 alone and the twins together or girls/boy, depending on the actual kids. I think we may be done with kids anyhow, but it annoys me that the state gets to pre-determine how many kids I can fit in my house.

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#16 of 18 Old 10-25-2010, 10:41 AM
 
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I think we may be done with kids anyhow, but it annoys me that the state gets to pre-determine how many kids I can fit in my house.
Especially because my husband and I would never have to jump through hoops like that.

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#17 of 18 Old 10-25-2010, 02:11 PM
 
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I bet they could just do a waiver. I know that I'm foster licensed for more kids than I have bedroom square footage for.
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#18 of 18 Old 10-30-2010, 04:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lynsage View Post
I believe apartment complexes sometimes have rules pertaining to how many children and adults can share a bedroom but I am pretty sure even those aren't gender-based- perhaps she heard something through the grapevine about someone having trouble with a landlord over kids sharing a room and it got garbled?

I would read the individual laws in your state to be sure- I googled this and there was a lot of hearsay in different states but no links to the actual laws or codes pertaining to this issue. It's definitely not a federal law.
Where I live, I have seen that it is no opposite sex room sharing after one of the children reaches 5 at least in foster placements and income based housing.

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