"The Americans with Disabilities Act: Legal and Practical Applications in Child Protection Proceedings"

Michigan Law Authors
Areas of Interest
Publish Date
Capital University Law Review
Publication Type
Journal Article

Parents with disabilities, particularly those with intellectual disability and/or mental illness, are disproportionately represented in the child protection system.1 Once involved in the system, they are far more likely than parents without disabilities to have their children removed and their parental rights terminated. The reasons for this are many. Parents with disabilities are relatively likely to experience other challenges that are themselves risk factors for child protection involvement. In addition, child protection agencies, attorneys, courts, and related professionals often lack knowledge and harbor biases about parents with disabilities, increasing the likelihood of more intrusive involvement in the family. Yet research does not support their negative assumptions about these parents. Not only do most of their children fare well, but when people with disabilities have parenting deficiencies, they can be addressed with appropriate services that accommodate their disabilities, suggesting that the high rate of termination of parental rights in this population is unwarranted.

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