The Injustice of Disability

This is one of those issues that one rarely sees discussed.  Here’s the story –

The natural mom of an adult son who suffers with MS reconnected with him 2 years ago. She had him when she was 14 and her parents adopted him out.

His wife recently died and they have an 18 month old. He fell down with the child in his arms and she needed stitches. Hospital called Child Protective Services and they removed the child saying her son is not fit to parent the child due to his disability.

Both his adoptive parents have passed away. Natural mom is a nurse in New York.  Her biological son is in a different county in New York. She has tried to help him by calling and email but receives no response from the caseworker or the supervisor. She assumes it may be because she is not recognized as his family member.

This child is currently in foster care. The mother was asking what else she could do, to try and get custody of her grandchild? Her son supports her effort. He is heartbroken his child is now living with strangers.

The most obvious first step for this mother is to obtain the services of a lawyer and file an emergency petition for custody.  The father will need to name her as the legal guardian of his child.  This is admittedly expensive but it is usually the fastest way to address a situation like this.

And it almost goes without saying because it is so very obvious that the man didn’t abuse or neglect his child. He has a disability. The state should have helped him find resources to care for his child rather than taking his child away.

Bottom line – the son should be able to tell the caseworker that he wants his baby with his mother. As long as she can pass a background check, that should be where baby goes, regardless of legal relation.  The placement hierarchy is usually in this order – grandparents, then siblings, then extended relatives, then anyone else that knows the baby as requested by the child’s parents with random foster parents – a last resort.

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