Disabled Birth Mother Seeks to Regain Custody of Child

State seeks to terminate parental rights, but the Federal government is siding with the mother.

Denalee Chapman February 16, 2015
article image

Two years ago, a 19-year-old woman known under the pseudonym, “Sara Gordon,” gave birth to a little girl. Sara’s mild disability makes it difficult for her to read and follow verbal instructions. The hospital staff records state that Sara required “repetition, hands-on instruction, and frequency” in order to properly care for her new baby. Because of this, DCF was called in and when the baby was just two days old, she was placed in foster care. The state is now seeking to terminate Sara’s parental rights.

But the federal government says that the state needs to compensate Sara and give her a chance to prove that she can provide adequate care for her child. In the 26-page report, the state of Massachusetts is instructed to provide Sara with support and services that would help her learn how to care for her daughter. They are also instructed to withdraw their petition to terminate Sara’s parental rights.

Unfortunately, Sara is not the only mother with a disability to be discriminated against in this way. A blind couple in Missouri had their daughter removed; a quadriplegic mother in Chicago has been fighting to keep her son; and more.

While DCF believes they are acting in the best interest of these children, clearly more care needs to be taken to avoid discriminating against parents with disabilities. This opinion article shares one author’s concern.

author image

Denalee Chapman

Denalee is an adoptive mother, a motivational speaker, a writer, and a lover of life. She and her husband have adventured through the hills and valleys of life to find that the highest highs and the lowest lows are equally fulfilling. Book Denalee to speak to your group, or find Denalee's writings, including her books on her website at DenaleeChapman.com.


Want to contact an adoption professional?

Love this? Want more?

Claim Your FREE Adoption Summit Ticket!


The #1 adoption website is hosting the largest, FREE virtual adoption summit. Come listen to 50+ adoption experts share their knowledge and insights.

Members of the adoption community are invited to watch the virtual summit for FREE on September 23-27, 2019, or for a small fee, you can purchase an All-Access Pass to get access to the summit videos for 12 months along with a variety of other benefits.

Get Your Free Ticket


Host: ws02.elevati.net