News, Views, and Information about Disability

Disability News, Views, Information, and Literature

Monday, December 3, 2012

National Study Shows Disabled Parents Face Discrimination, Loss of Custody

Numerous media have run an Associated Press article about a report by the National Council on Disability which shows how common, devastating, and far-reaching discrimination is against disabled parents. The report is entitled, "Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children." It estimates that 6.1 million U.S. children have disabled parents -- parents at much greater risk than nondisabled parents of losing custody of their children, including removal rates as high as 80 percent for parents with psychiatric or intellectual disabilities.

The Wall Street Journal describes the report thus:
Such cases are found nationwide, according to a new report by the National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency. The 445-page document is viewed by the disability-rights community as by far the most comprehensive ever on the topic — simultaneously an encyclopedic accounting of the status quo and an emotional plea for change.
The AP story details the stories of several parents who have had to fight tooth and nail to keep their children, simply due to having a disability, which ranges from blindness, quadriplegia, or cerebral palsy. In some cases, infants were taken from parents at birth, in other cases ex-partners sued for custody, and in some cases, adoptive parents went through rigorous efforts to prove suitability. One adoptive mother, Carrie Ann Lucas, went to law school so she could help herself and other disabled parents successfully fight discrimination.

Read the AP article here.
Read the NCD press release here.
Read the complete publication ("Rocking the Cradle") here.

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