Parents with disabilities have children unfairly removed for abuse and neglect, and often lose custody in divorce proceedings, according to this report by independent federal agency the National Council on Disability.
The council, which estimates that 6.1 million children in the United States have a physical or mental disability, culminated information from myriad sources about the intersection between child welfare and family court proceedings with disability rights. The report juxtaposes that against the on-the-ground view provided by interviews with disabled parents and experts on disability rights.
Among the findings:
- Removal rates of parents with psychiatric disabilities is as high as 70 – 80 percent
- Removal rates of parents with intellectual disabilities is as high as 80 percent
- Extremely high removal rates and loss of parental rights for parents with sensory or physical disabilities.
- Parents with disabilities are more likely to lose custody of their children after divorce.
- Prospective parents with disabilities have more difficulty when it comes to accessing reproductive health care such as assisted reproductive technologies.
- Prospective parents with disabilities face significant barriers to adopting children.
Click here to read the report.