Disabled parents: Missouri mother could lose child after stroke

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Child Custody on Monday, May 23, 2011

A Missouri child custody case highlights one of the state’s new laws regarding discrimination against disabled parents. According to a measure approved by the Missouri Legislature, child protective services can only take children away from their disabled parent if they have concrete proof that the situation compromises the children’s safety. This law emphasizes the fact that a disability does not necessarily prevent someone from loving their children or being a capable, responsible parent.

One Missouri mother will struggle to convince a family law judge that her disability does not affect her parenting skills as her ex-boyfriend attempts to gain full custody of the couple’s child. The parents currently have a shared custody arrangement, but the father’s lawsuit asserts that this is no longer in the best interest of their now 5-year-old child.

The mother’s disability stems from a stroke she suffered when she was 20-years-old. After the stroke, she lost the ability to move the right-side of her body and still wrestles with a condition called aphasia that affects her reading and writing capabilities.

Yet, the mother’s family claims that their daughter’s disability has never prevented her from being a good mother. They point out that she raised her older child-from another relationship-without the help of the child’s father and has learned to live with her limitations instead of letting them control her life.

Meanwhile, the father’s attorney claims that their suit is not motivated by the mother’s disability but rather seeks to protect the child’s best interests.

Source: STL Today, “Disabled mom fights for custody of son.” Aisha Sultan, 22 May 2011

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