Disabled mom allowed visits with her children

Katherine - posted on 03/28/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )

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167197 10150132793087853 696467852 8048251 2814193 n 199x300 Judge: Severely Disabled Mom Abbie Dorn Allowed Visits With Her Children

Abbie Dorn

A judge in California has decided that a severely disabled mom has the right to see her children.

Abbie Dorn is allowed to have five-day visits once a year for three hours each day at her parents’ home in South Carolina. Only Abbie, her triplets and their father, Dan Dorn, are allowed to be present during that time.

Judge Fredrick Shaller also ruled that Abbie may Skype with her children for 30 minutes on the first Sunday of each month in the interest of maintaining a parent/child relationship. The kids are also permitted to watch their mom receive music therapy, or their grandfather may read to them while she is in the room.

The ruling also requires Dan to display photos of Abbie in the children’s rooms at his home.

Abbie suffered severe brain damage in 2006 due to human error and equipment malfunction while giving birth to her triplets. She is unable to move or eat on her own.

Dan divorced Abbie the year following the birth of their children and had offered her parents the same annual visits that the judge granted. However, Abbie’s parents sought to have the triplets visit their mother three times a year without Dan present. The judge has decided, however, that Abbie’s mother tries to impose her belief on the children that she will recover, and unless Dan allows it, she and other extended family may not be present during their visits with Abbie.

Dan had sought to prohibit the children’s visits with Abbie until they were six or seven years old, fearing the sight of her would traumatize them too much. The triplets turn five in June. The judge rejected the delay, however, citing how Abbie had already outlived her life expectancy.

“The children need to have a relationship with their mother established before she dies,” the judge wrote in his decision. “The court finds that even though Abbie cannot interact with the children, the children can interact with Abbie — and that the interaction is beneficial for the children. They can touch her, see her, bond with her, and can carry these memories with them.”

“We’re very pleased, the judge definitely understood our decision and ruled what Mr. Dorn said was best for the children,” said Dan’s attorney to ABC News.

“We think that this is just the beginning, that their time with their mother will increase as they get older,” countered the attorney for Abbie’s parents, also to ABC News.

It’s so heartbreaking to me that it had to take a judge to tell Dan Dorn that his kids should be allowed to see their mom. Since the circumstances surrounding his decision to divorce his wife are not known to me, I can’t necessarily judge him for leaving Abbie so soon after her life changed forever while giving birth to their children.

But to say that their mother will traumatize them because of her condition? That smacks of prejudice, as if the sight of any disabled person is too horrible to bear. And if he allowed regular and consistent visits with her all along, their mother’s condition would be normal, because it would have been all that they know. If he were a good parent, he would have been explaining to them all along about their mother so there were never any surprises or “trauma.”

For the sake of the triplets, I hope they aren’t traumatized later on in life knowing how their father sought to erase their mother from their lives.

Do you agree with the judge’s ruling?

I think the ruling is great, however seeing your kids that little is a bit unfair. This woman suffered brain damage having his kids!!!! It amazes me how calloused people are.

4 Comments

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[deleted account]

Thankfully she has some vists but i feel its not enough.I do not like in anyway, the way this mother is being treated.By the father&court of law.

I think its disgusting.

When those children are older i hope the come to understand what has been going on, and that the make the time for there mother, that she completely deserves.

[deleted account]

I'm glad she's got at least this much now even though I feel it is too little too late. If the kids had been around her on a fairly regular basis from birth.... there would BE no risk of traumatization. It would be just like normal life for them. Kids are very accepting of differences when they are raised w/ them and taught that it IS ok.

I remember hearing about this situation before and I'm still angry w/ their father. I think he's a creep who was only thinking of himself... NOT his children and certainly not thier mother. :(

Tara - posted on 03/28/2011

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Wow it is so sad that it took a judge ordering this man to allow his children to have a relationship with his wife. A the very fact that she suffered this brain damage due to human error and equipment malfunction only to have him divorce her a year later just seems to add tons of injury to insult.
Where is the justice here?
These children should have been visiting with their mother from the beginning, not a few times a year, but weekly at the least. How awful for the poor kids to remember "meeting" their disabled mother for the first time.
Sad.

Alyssa - posted on 03/28/2011

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Oh the poor woman! How terrible....

I don't think the ruling is great at all. The article makes no mention of her intellectual capacity so one would assume she is possibly still intelligently functioning. I could not imagine only seeing my kids that much (once a year and skype every month) Pffft!! especially knowing such a dickhead of an ex-husband was raising them. It shouldn't matter about her life expectancy either. Not good enough. I hope she and her family have a better lawyer and fight

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