Family Matters

Why Parents with Disabilities Are Losing Custody of their Kids

Laws designed to protect people with disabilities are failing to maintain the rights of disabled parents to take care of their children

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John Rowley / Digital Vision / Getty Images

Two years ago, Erika Johnson gave birth to her first child. When she had trouble breast-feeding, a nurse soothed her by saying that many mothers find nursing hard at first. Then the nurse called social services.

Johnson and her husband are both blind, which concerned the nurse and caused a social worker to put their baby Mikaela in foster care for 57 days. “It was sickening that they assumed because we’re blind we can’t take care of her,” says Johnson, who lives in Independence, Mo. “I was angry, upset, sad, frustrated. It was my first child.”

Johnson’s story is just one of many that humanize a 445-page report issued by the National Council on Disability about the myriad ways in which disabled parents encounter discrimination. Nearly 1 in 10 U.S. kids have a parent who is disabled, according to the Council. Of those parents, 4.1 million have children younger than 18. Yet there’s a cultural belief that parents with intellectual or physical disabilities don’t — or shouldn’t — raise kids.

(MORE: Supreme Court Rules Against Benefits for Posthumously Conceived Kids)

Robyn Powell, an attorney at the Council, uses a power wheelchair because the arthrogryposis that affects her joints and muscles limits the use of her arms and legs. At 31, she doesn’t yet have kids. But she hopes she will one day. Yet multiple doctors, aware of her physical impairments, have suggested sterilization. “I have been offered a hysterectomy more times than I can count,” says Powell. “It’s like they’re doing me a favor. I say, I think I’m going to need my uterus. But society as a whole views people with disabilities as incapable of raising kids.”

New parenthood is hard for anyone, but Powell suspects that parents with disabilities — accustomed to adapting — may have an easier time than others with the adjustment. Yet the Council’s report — “Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children” — notes that parents with disabilities face discrimination when it comes to child welfare, family law, access to fertility treatment and adoption.

In 1990, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to protect those with disabilities, yet parents with disabilities continue to face legal quicksand everywhere. Two-thirds of state child welfare laws list some type of disability as grounds for removing a child from his home and allowing parental rights to be terminated. That’s a violation of the ADA, concludes the report. Still, parents with psychiatric or intellectual disabilities lose their children at a rate as high as 80%.

“Parents with disabilities continue to be the only distinct community that has to fight to retain — and sometimes gain — custody of their own children,” autism-rights activist Ari Ne’eman told the Associated Press.

(MORE: Alaina Giordano, Mom with Stage 4 Cancer, Speaks Out About Losing Her Kids)

Every state permits disability to be considered as a factor in deciding custody issues. In some cases, disease counts as disability; that was the experience of Alaina Giordano, a N.C. mom who had advanced breast cancer and believed she lost custody of her children to her estranged husband because of her illness. Giordano waged a social-media war to raise awareness of her plight before she died earlier this year:

She was fighting for the right to be with her children, but she was also fighting for the rights of sick mothers everywhere in similar situations. As Peter Kaufmann — her childhood friend who became her spokesman — wrote on her Facebook page: “She realized that she had become the voice for those who were in similar situations — with cancer, with custody battles, with insurmountable struggles. Because she faced her mortality on a regular basis she looked at her life as one that gave strength to those who were less fortunate than she — those whose stories did NOT get public attention…”

For Johnson, who regained custody of her daughter when she was two months old, being a capable parent means adapting to her sighted child’s needs. When Mikaela is sick, Johnson and her husband, Blake Sinnett, rely on a talking thermometer to gauge her temperature. They have labeled puzzle pieces in Braille so that they’re able to help Mikaela learn the names of the animals that make up the puzzle.

At 2 ½, Mikaela is well aware that her parents can’t see. Like them, she has adapted. Because Mikaela was taken away even before she was taken home, Johnson wasn’t able to breast-feed her, which felt like an additional loss on top of being pegged as an incompetent mother. As young as 9 months, Mikaela would guide her parents’ hands to a bottle to indicate she was hungry.

Such adaptation is what the Council says should be appreciated and supported. With wounded warriors coming home from the battlefield, the number of parents with disabilities is expected to grow. That just highlights the importance of figuring out how public and private agencies can do a better job of ensuring parents’ rights and supporting those who need help. “We need to shift the presumption that people with disabilities are unfit to raise families,” says Powell. “We need to assume they are capable and we need to support them.”

MORE: An Obese Boy Is Placed in Foster Care. Can It Help?

68 comments
PeggySchmidt
PeggySchmidt

My parents were deaf, and they raised me---no problemo!

LilMama6
LilMama6

Im a mother to 6 children which I lost all of them to the state. As in they are all adopted out. CPS said I lost them because my ex was abusive & dangerous. Which I understand. But when I gave birth to my last child, his father was in jail. Our divorce was finalized but they took my son because my ex was the father. I did nothing wrong to have my son taken from me. I showed proof of my divorce and CPO. They still took my son & adopted him out.

KentClark
KentClark

I think that it is sad that people with disabilities are having a harder time gaining custody of their children. It must be very emotionally difficult on the parent. After all, they just want to take care of their babies. But, one the parent is responsible for the child's needs. That is something that is very important to remember. http://www.raskoskylegal.com/Family_Law_Child_Support_Fort_Wayne_IN.html 

daledrummond
daledrummond

i have two sons been raising them for about six years i believe by myself i receive ssi for many reasons schooling mental and just got out of hospital for bad heart, my sons are 12 and 14 years old  also disable .i provide hygiene items (soap tooth brushes tooth pastes ,deodorant and ect.. up to this year  have had no problem my sons had started to have bathroom accidents at their school i took them to doctor. they was digenous and doctor let school know and a teacher after recieven it reported me for neglect of hygiene. cps lady visit me said my 14 year old told her he goes in shower gets wet but not  use soap ,she tld me not to ask him as he might feel he was in trouble . i ask her how  i am to correct a problem with out talking to my sons, than she threw up due to me having loss of memory she believes i am a unfit parent . i have never forgotten my love for my sons never forgot to feed them never forget to again make sure the shower ,do i go in with them no as they are old enough to need and want privacy.    i might forget address of places i been ,might forget aptt. of my own . but when it comes to my sons they come before me or anyone. she act like my kids doing something un natural but i been studying up as far as i found all kids go threw this stage , she came into my home rude to my 21 year old that lives with us telling him to shut up they was not talking to him like he knows nothing but they are very wrong as he see and hears every thing that gores on here she came out around the first of the year and said oh 14 year old had two more accidents at school .from the last time she talk to me .that was almost a month after she came. i was very proud of him went from a daily problem to only twice in a month . i am trying to find someone that will help me fight this but so far no luck my kids are still with me . their mother was told they could not talk to her which is very strange and she is also trying to put a stop for this injustice act that going on. if anyone knows a lawyer or a group that helps in theses case plz e-mail me at leeboy1469@hotmail.com  ty for your time

CBRchick
CBRchick

Wow... I'm a 29 year old mother of 3 amazing children. Sadly my rights were terminated on two of my children and I have been fighting with judgemental people since my youngest was born. That was five years ago. I used to be a normal, average girl... Made a few mistakes in life but took responsibility for my actions. The first being the pregnancy of my first child. I found out I was pregnant one month before my 17th birthday. I passed by college and went straight into working, 12-18 hours a day. I was a great teen mom but couldn't have done it without my parents. I married when my son was 2 and gave birth to my daughter a year later. Four months later I came home to find my husband had cleared the bank accounts and left. He didn't return for 6 months. He was immediately granted visitations and I fell into addiction. I left my chilren with my mother one evening an my addiction led to a 13 day long rape and beatings. And ended with me in the custody of the FBI. Doctors, psychologists both backed my experience with rape kits and documentation of the cuts, burns and bruises on my body. As if that wasn't bad enough, once I was able to return home, nearly 17 days later, the state said I abandoned my children and I didn't see them for 3 months. I did everything asked of me. The jobs, the drug tests, counseling, meetings, courts and lawyers, visitations and paying support to my parents. The state continued to fight against me, telling me i wanted what occured in that two weeks, that i had lied, that i didnt actually want my kids...In the end the workers for the kids simply stated that I hadnt done enough and there for didn't love my children. Oh what a million dollars could have done. Proved my love..? I was never a bad parent... I was caught in a bad situation. I've earned sole legal and physical custody of my youngest son and fought hard to keep it for the past five years. Since losing my other children I have been diagnosed manic anxiety, depression with suicidal tendencies, PTSD and borderline multiple personality. Remember before losing my children, I had a year long addiction. I needed treatment, I needed guidance to continue raising my children... Instead the state stole my kids, placed them in unfit homes, separate... The state has declared me a fit parent for my youngest. But what about my other two children... ? They don't get that chance to have a mom. Even with my mental impairments, I am more than capable of raising my son. I have never met a more inventive, smart, fun loving, strong charactered 5yr old... With the compassion and empathy of a saint... If anything I focus more on him then having coffee or going shopping... People judge any disability because they are afraid of the unknown. But for the disabled person, it tends to be all we know. What a beautiful picture it is to think of how, by 9mos old, this child adapted to her blind parents!! We have to open our minds and hearts... There are convicted sex offenders that have parenting time with their kids... People starve and beat their children... The entirety of this story disgusts me. The government needs to grow some damn balls, stop picking on disabled parents and start going for the ones that are truly harming their children!

MarcusSmith
MarcusSmith

I also have a daughter who is schizophrenic but has a lots of family backup the state put them with family members but they need to be with i as grandma will be ther every step of the to help my daughter is now living in a shelther  and working to get them home with her she is a great mom be we needs some help with a home  for her kids  and me to be there for her this illness is new to her and me and the rest of her family will be there for her and her kids  help us please.

asadmother
asadmother

I have a schizophrenic daughter who cannot relate to anyone, now 30 without ever had a long term relationship, but sstill hoping. Likely she will age out of fertility, which would be the best solution.

How can a person with poor social skills, no job, no friends,  be a good or adequate mother? 

 She is often angry and disappears without telling anyone.

I think the needs and right of the child have to come before the mother.

A UK story covered the situation of a baby removed from a schizophrenic mother with IQ 63.

People condemned the judges decision without reading the full details - IQ 63, and also without knowing schizophrenics.


Blindness is not nearly so bad - it is not an intellectual disability, nor a mental illness.

with support, a blind parent can manage.


So, I support the principle that children may sometimes be removed from a birth parent, but not in the case of the blind mother.




Clara_Anon
Clara_Anon

@asadmother
I am autistic. I have no job, poor social skills, and no real friends (except my husband), and I am a good mother. My children are doing fine, healthy, happy, honor students; the oldest is in high school.
Children are far less concerned with social skills and status than you are. My kids don't feel deprived because I don't go shopping or drink coffee with other middle-aged women enough. Go figure. I can't say anything about your daughter as an individual (although someone who will "disappear" while single and free to do so isn't necessarily someone who will abandon her family!), but there are enough harmful generalizations made about people with poor social skills - please don't add to them.

judderwocky
judderwocky

There are always going to be people that unfairly have their kids taken away and any system can always be improved. However, there are a lot of people that shouldn't raise kids and *big surprise* none of them ever think they are bad parents. Even listening to some of the stories on here, its clear some people are not capable of understanding their own deficiencies. A sob story can not be an excuse to put a child in danger. 


Tanuchenka
Tanuchenka

That is awful. A mother's right to nurse was taken away for what??? I would be so furious. That is a critical time for bonding. Did those foster parents make the same choices, e.g. how and where the baby slept, that the mother would have made for her own child? Did they hold and comfort and love her the same way her mother would have? If there is concern that disabled people might need additional support, damn well give it to them. Don't rip their children from their arms and put them in foster homes. Do they have any idea how much damage that can do to the family bond, to disabled people's sense of trust in the system, not to mention to forever lost benefits of breastfeeding? I'm horrified and disgusted.

JulieKosloff-Matejko
JulieKosloff-Matejko

@Tanuchenka   happens everyday,  foster parents have been arrested and worse.  DCS keeps it quiet, their own social workers have been arrested and yet, they allow them to continue "supervising" parents they claim are unfit.  


Have you ever wondered why there are thousands of kids on adopt us kids website and people go out of the country to adopt and at a huge expense?   because of DCS.  They are thugs, and if you know someone who has adopted through DCS... they know someone i.e. a former classmate, former associate at the adoption agency, etc.  If you do everything right  and for the right reasons DCS will NOT ALLOW you to Foster.  and you cannot adopt a child without FOSTERING FIRST... 

oh yes, deal with the devil or the kids remain in "foster care"...and those foster parents are doing it for the money or the kids...otherwise, they would GET OUT of the racket it is.  Fostering is painful and DCS abuses those foster parents until they leave.  They have plenty of rules and follow NONE of them.  


This nation does not care about kids


kevinbanks
kevinbanks

Hope I am not too late to the conversation.     what about this custody situation between 2 equal parents:    one parent has a mild physical disability and cannot perform cpr, cannot carry child if hurt, cannot rescue child from a fire or get him/her out of a burning/crashed car.    the other parent can.     given both have equal parenting skills, should the parent that can protect the child in case of these emergencies be awarded custody?

JulieKosloff-Matejko
JulieKosloff-Matejko

@kevinbanks  the better parent should not be the issue as an emergency could happen with either parent.

CUSTODY should be with birthparents unless it is dangerous then there should be a parenting plan that INCLUDES the parents.   DCS takes the kids and gives them to strangers...with family waiting with open arms.

AndreaPasko
AndreaPasko

I am in ohio and I have mental issues and physical issues. I was told by Medina County Child Services that i am unable to raise a child because my mental disorders effect the choices I make. That by having the metal disorders I do have I put my children in harms way. I have made poor decisions but we all have but never did I put my children in harms way. My son will be 4 in December and I haven't seen him in 2 years. My daughter was given to my mother so at least I see her. There are people in this county that are mentally worst then I am and it has affected their children but yet I am unable to have mine. I feel that Child Services is more harm then good at times; my doctors stated that I have gotten worst because Child Services stepped in and removed my children.

JulieKosloff-Matejko
JulieKosloff-Matejko

I'm in Tennessee, but it is the same all over USA .  If you have a disability, are broke, or uneducated your kids are as good as gone.

There is no protection from DCS...they are even exempt from child trafficking laws.  Look it up.  Good people do nothing and they will come for your kids one day.

LisaArlin
LisaArlin

Im from Surrey British Columbia and my child was removed because the Ministry for Children and Families said he was at risk in my care because of my disabilitiy and was forced to adopt because both of my disability and mental status. I was a women with disabilities fleeing from an abusive relationship instead of getting assitance I further suffered abuse from the child protection system and as duscriminated against my disability and the outcome of court was my mental status would continue to impair my ability to parent a child appropriately. Parents with disabilies are loosing custody just because we are disabled and no parent is incapable of parenting because of your disabilty. Since what happened I am still fighting the governnent until parents with disablities get equal benifit of the law and protection for all parents because when a child protection worker removes your child because your blind that is discrimination. It is hard to fight because MCFD are never accountable we need to get the word out to parents with disabilies every where discrimination against you for having a disability is wrong we need to empower each other and take back our power like this mother who is blind did we are not powerless because of our disabilities we need to take back our power from a child protection system that discriminates against us for having a disability. We need to speak out and fight because no parent should suffer discrimination believe in your self dont give up fighting for custody my child was adopted but Im still fighting I wanted to say God bless this mother in this story had the courage to come for word I hope other parents in the united states and canada do until we have equality and justice!!

springwater5000
springwater5000

Yes by all means leave kids with a physically or sexually abusive parent but remove them from capable loving parents who just happen to have a disability. That makes a lot of sense! Disability does not equal incapable! The sheep of this world should really stop listening to the powers that be who are so quick to take rights away, yours are next. They don't stop once they know they can get away with it. Less government always is the answer, always.

judderwocky
judderwocky

@springwater5000 "Less government always is the answer, always." Yeah... I'm not sure you are really thinking your comments through. If you really believed that... what is stopping you from just picking up and moving to place in the world where there is no effective government? 

You have a vague sense of frustration from an article that carefully cherry picked some stories to elicit this type of response. 

It would be impossible to list all the times in which child services made the correct choice and brought children out of dangerous environments. 

Secrets
Secrets

Agree to disagree. My daughter was taken from me because I was arrested because my ex made up stories about me. Cps tried to keep her from me and give her to her dad ... Why you ask? Because I was under investigation because by law they have 3 years to pin it on me. Thank god I had an awesome judge who told CPS "if we removed every child from their parents who are under investigation we would have an over abundance of homeless children" and I got her back. CPS does as much good as harm.the day I got out of jail I called my mom and the first thing I asked is where is my daughter? She told me with my sister so when I called CPS I had no need to ask and they told the judge I never once was concerned where my kid was never cared to ask... Told the judge my daughter was adjusting nicely with my sister lol the judge asked her how long has she been away from her mom? She replied 1 week. The judge said "adjusted?" Really? He retired two weeks later and I'm sad to hear that because CPS gets away with a lot and for those who don't know this CPS GETS PAID TO REMOVE YOUR CHILDREN FROM YOU.... I'm against them 100% I e called them to report cases that were serious and they don't do anything about it yet I'm under investigation and their the first ones at my door to rip my kids from me... Smh

ShaelaStrata
ShaelaStrata

@MyaB are u saying that people with mental disabilities cannot adapt?   What about people with impared memory ( they can use notes, reminders, charts, graphs, alarms and the like, just as well as non impaired people. Who says parents have to be in Mensa,' to raise kids? I see all kinds of "normal" people swearing, drinking, flirting, with kids around, and letting them run a muck unsupervised. While a caring, concerned  parent with a "mental deficit", won't.

So, in my opinion, actions show truth, good or bad/responsible or not, and that should be the only thing competency is judged on.

If they're neglectful or abusive to kids "normal" or not, then yes, take the kids. 

But don't just take them because they're handicapped in some way.  

How would you like to be born different, and if that's not bad enough, everyone would see you as "defective" and not "fit" to bear, or raise children because you have an affliction you can do nothing about.

What if you fell down some stairs, broke your neck, and became paralyzed? Oooh, here they come!

You are officially unfit!   or your mate comes back from military duty, he/she lost her/his legs/has shrapnel in his/her head.

ooh, you're still alive? My you're so unfit now. We've come to take your kids. Thanks for you're service to this fine country.

 

judderwocky
judderwocky

@ShaelaStrata @MyaB

Wow. Ok. I'll just jump right in here. 

You said: 

"are u saying that people with mental disabilities cannot adapt?"

But the specific comment was.

"If the parents mental age is under 18 then that is cause for concern."


So obviously many people have deficiencies, but when they cause a person to act like a child, what makes them capable of raising children? 

You said: 

" Who says parents have to be in Mensa,' to raise kids?"

Nobody did. She said they have to have the functional capacity of adult. Learn to read. 


You said: 


" I see all kinds of "normal" people swearing, drinking, flirting, with kids around, and letting them run a muck unsupervised."

None of that is inherently dangerous. You are (intentionally?) confusing behaviors to make her argument sound ridiculous or over the top. That is a straw man argument. 


Again, you said:

"But don't just take them because they're handicapped in some way."

Not in any way. She specified a cumulative effect from all handicaps that would place them below the functional capacity of an adult.You are attempting to make her argument sound non specific, when in fact its based on something easily obtained through evaluation.

Sonn
Sonn

My mother is blind and an amputee. She has only 1 leg. She also ran the church nursery, baked a gazillion loaves of bread and batches of cookies every Christmas, sewed all our clothes, went to Girl Scout meetings, and to this day maintains a magazine-perfect garden that is the envy of the neighborhood.

I have one of the most severe forms of mental illness, bipolar 1 with psychotic episodes. But I see my doctors regularly, always take my medicines, and am married to a very stable, very supportive husband. Our two daughters are thriving, happy, at the top of their classes and surrounded with friends.

'Disability' is what you make of it. Kids thrive when they are cared for. This is not hard to figure out! There are people without any sort of diagnosed disability who should never be allowed within 20 feet of a child. There are others with what abilities or health issues that might place their experiences outside the mainstream, but that doesn't automatically mean they are going to be uable to care for their families. Common sense.

nousername
nousername

I agree that too many capable disabled parents have their children unfairly taken away with them, but I'm hesitant to endorse stopping this altogether. I was raised by a schizophrenic single mother, and my life as a child was terrible. She was absolutely incapable of anything approximating child care, and if any social workers had actually been paying attention they would have noticed that I was clearly being neglected. We never had food because she would spend all the money she got from the government (she had no job) as soon as she got it on frivolous items, or give it away to strange men, so the only place I got food at was at school. She had intellectual disabilities as well and couldn't help me with my homework, even in elementary school (she's nearly illiterate, and very innumerate. She cannot make change, for example). My social growth was stunted because I had no idea how to interact with people normally, so I grew up with no friends whatsoever. She stopped making me attend school around 5th grade, so past that point I was responsible for going by myself, as well as anything related to it (washing clothes for school, etc.). We nearly got kicked out of our house (government housing) many times for failure to clean it; it was constantly disgusting, at a level most people cannot imagine. I have no doubt I would have been happier and healthier in foster care, and I believe there are many children in comparable situations to mine who are being overlooked.

ToastedEveryDay
ToastedEveryDay

Anyone who dose not have a PhD, and associates in child care should have their children removed. Anyone who is on welfare having children should be placed in FEMA camps and forced into work labour groups. Anyone person is a repeat violent felon, or gang member should have their children removed permanent as well. All of the above and more should be sterilized from having children ever again.

DougDanzeisenSr
DougDanzeisenSr

One would logically expect the disability "experts" to go after those least able to raise kids- young teens with no support. Wonder why we are not reading them?

DougDanzeisenSr
DougDanzeisenSr

Let's go to the root of this issue- Who cares most for kids? Almost without exception the answer is the parents. The problem is that we have allowed our families to be broken down, and we now seem, as a society, to trust government to meet our needs. As evidence witness I submit 11-6-12. Indeed, I know many who expect the govt. to assist with feeding, housing, educating, providing childcare- AND THEY GET THOSE SERVICES. They do not have to scramble for childcare when Grandma goes to the hospital. The govt has not failed, YET. Little wonder that many put their faith not in their families, but in big govt. Who's your daddy !!!

ChristopherSt
ChristopherSt

Im not saying blind parents shouldn't have custody of their children but it can be hard when the child gets older. A child growing up with blind parents will be able to get away with a lot.

FranticKL
FranticKL

@TIME @timehealthland that is an insult

fulload
fulload

This is a sad commentary on our societal beliefs…My heart goes out to Johnson and her husband, and the other parents mentioned in the story as well as all parents who find themselves in a similar situation!Truly outrageous!

TukaZindabad
TukaZindabad

meanwhile i incapable 16 year old get's to keep hers....

JaniceSchacterLintz
JaniceSchacterLintz

The courts have antiquated notions of what having a disability means or it's impact on the person.  It is time we raise the bar and change our perceptions.  

Parents who advocate for their children who have a disability should not be viewed as "waging a war" as my ex-husband has described my activities.  (Although, he changed it to I was running a business when we finished custody and started the financial portion of the trial.  How convenient.)

The children with disabilities who succeed usually, have a strong parent who stood up to the system and would not accept the crumbs that society offered.  One parent should not be able to use  a parent's advocacy against the other parent.  It is incomprehensible to think that a child with hearing loss can just "wing" an education in a highly competitive school just by adding hearing aids.  Courts need to recognize that this is a just another strategy to gain a leg up for custody and should not tolerate it.  

Janice Schacter Lintz, chair Hearing Access Program

MyaB
MyaB

The only time I would say it is right to consider taking away kids is if the parents have a mental disability. If the parents mental age is under 18 then that is cause for concern. We already know what the risks are for underage parents, at least legally their parents are still the guardians. Without help from a relative or friend who is mentally capable, I would be highly concerned.Physical disabilities do not matter to me, blind, deaf, or anything like that I am sure that you are as capable of being a good or bad parent as anyone else.

JoWalter
JoWalter

I have Aspergers and I have two children, one of which is also autistic.My husband is deployed. I would dare them to take my kids. I may have alot of routines and rituals, but I don't understand using that to takeaway someone's kids. People who molestchildren or beat their kids can have them back, but because my familyrequires adaptations to get around our challenges we could lose ourkids? This makes no sense to me at all. If anything, having kids hastaught me how to better adapt, how to be more spontaneous and how toaccept myself for me. They don't want me to be anyone else. I grew up living near a woman who had an adult daughter who was deaf, thedaughter's husband was deaf and her oldest son was deaf. They usedspecial phones that turned on lights when it rang and printed speech on akeypad. There was nothing wrong with that family. Every family doesthings their own way and to say that because you are in a wheelchair, orhave autism, or are blind you are a bad parent is discrimination init's highest form.How do you know someone will be a bad parent before they have even had the chance to try? I mean, yea, maybe have someone check in on them, but to remove the child completely from a home under the assumption that they are bad parents, is just discriminatory. I could assume the nurse is a bad nurse because she's never had a patient with autism, but that's not going to get her fired.

GuySlater
GuySlater

commentonitall:  While I find your comments to be, at the least, decent in their asking, I also find them to be ignorant and indicative of the fact that you have never been around a blind person in your life.  The old saying of "walk a mile in his shoes" applies to you here.  I am not blind, although I am sight impaired (I wear glasses for normal 20/20 sight), I have experience life with several blind persons.  They ar no more incapable than you of protecting their kids.  Their other senses, in many cases have become enhances to adjust for their loss of sight, and in many ways that makes them more, not less, adept in the rearing of their children.  I have become deaf (I have NEVER be PC and have no tolerance for those who would correct my description of myself:  It is DEAF and not "Hearing Impaired" dammit!), does that make me unfit to raise a child and be a father to one?  I was gravely injured during the Vietnam War, and have had to adapt the use of my right hand to compensate for the limitations I face.  I'm crippled, does that make me unfit to have fathered the three daughters I have?  Sounds to me, wittingly or not, that you are following the Nazi strategy to "cleanse" the population of those that do not conform to a given ideal of fitness.  I hope that your thoughts become enlightened by exposure to those with disabilities.

commentonitall
commentonitall

I do not want to sound like a jerk, but BOTH parents are blind.  People who are blind typically have heightened senses and I am aware of that, however anyone with a little common sense would think that two blind people raising a newborn does not seem ideal in regards to safety for the child.  They can't drive the child anywhere, what if they are out walking somewhere and have no cell phone and no one else is around?  What if the child has a sudden allergy to something, they wouldn't be able to visibly see the child and most likely would not notice as quickly.  How about a cut the child doesn't talk about and goes untreated and becomes infected?  Or what about swimming at a beach, how would they know if their child is drowning?  These are all hypothetical situations and I am sure the people mentioned in this article who are blind took the necessary precautions, but this is America where people have a ridiculous sense of entitlement.  I agree with the article over all, but the blind couple mentioned in the first paragraph is a horrible way to present the thesis, if anything it makes their thesis very difficult to prove.  The article should have just skipped to the woman in the wheel chair, that would have gotten me on board right away.  I'm sorry but I feel the nurse in the first situation did the right thing, nothing personal to the people who just had their child, but common sense is not common in the US anymore and she was only looking out for the child's safety which is her job.

kubajean
kubajean

Unbelievable they would take their child away. When there are so many abused kids left with their families. How about providing services to help instead! In a country this rich, we should be able to do that.