On Page A16 of Sunday’s edition of The Record, we ran an article about disabled parents and the challenges they face when it comes to raising their children. In a lot of cases, these parents have had their children taken away from them. One family’s children were taken away just for the mere fact that they were using sign language. That one was hard to believe.
I have a set of friends who are deaf, and their verbal skills are minimal. They have three children, all of which can hear and speak just fine. Their parents are amazing. These kids have never gone without anything of necessity, and they are polite and smart. They communicate with their parents through sign language. When my friends first became parents, they had lights that flashed and other gadgets to help wake them up when their child cried in the middle of the night. They are employed and work hard to maintain a decent living for their family, too. They are such good people that I have trusted them to watch my child often.
How many really unfit, nondisabled parents are out there with their 10 kids and get to keep them, when officials know the kids are not in a safe or healthy environment?
My cousin adopted three children who were taken from their drug-addicted mom who is constantly in and out of jail or prison. She’s had nine children, all of them but two were taken away from her. Yes, this known meth addict and occasional prostitute is allowed to keep two of her children, but a blind woman who had trouble breast-feeding her child within a few days of having her baby was caught in a fight to keep her child just because she was blind.
Ironically, on Sunday, we also ran a story on Page A7 about a foster mother in Florida whose child was missing for nearly a year before anyone noticed. The girl had been taken away from her crack-addicted mother and put in the care of another woman. That woman is now facing murder charges. Officials have yet to find the child’s body, but key witnesses are likely to testify this week.
What I’m getting at with all these anecdotes is that an unfit parent should be based on the well being of the child, not someone else’s standards of how a child should be raised.
To take away children of the disabled just because they are disabled is absurd.