Wait, disabled? Yes, 35 states and the District of Columbia have laws stating that the mere presence of a parent with disability is grounds for terminating parental rights and removing children from the home. Nine states and the District of Columbia list physical disability in particular as grounds for termination of parental rights, even without evidence of abuse or neglect. These states include Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Carolina in addition to the nation’s capital. In every state, the presence of a disability can be arbitrarily used when determining the “best” interests of a child.
I find these laws abhorrent. A parent living with disability is still capable of loving children and providing for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Additionally, my experience is that children raised in homes where disability exist are grounded, mature, and open-minded to those who may look or behave differently than societal “norms.” We need more children with these qualities.
I ask you to write you state's elected officials to repeal these laws. To find out more, go to http://www.ncd.gov/newsroom/2016/new-parenting-disability-toolkit.