Handicapped Parents

Sharon - posted on 07/23/2010 ( 19 moms have responded )

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Can two blind parents raise a child?

Can two deaf parents raise a child?

Can two deaf & blind parents raise a child?

Should the state step in? At what point do you say "this handicapped person cannot raise a child, they don't have the physical means to."?

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Charlie - posted on 07/23/2010

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I think instead of stepping and taking away their kids they should have some kind of service or support system that allows them to raise their kids with the help they need .

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Rosie - posted on 07/26/2010

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i just read an article about this, and the parents were both blind. their child was taken from them for a couple of months right after it's birth. a nurse said that when the mother was trying to breastfeed, she noticed the baby turning blue, mother couldn't tell she was suffocating it. i don't think that in that instance she should have her child taken away, just needs help in place. i don't think 2 blind people should have kids without help. i can see perfectly fine and there are times where they almost get into something they aren't supposed to or dart out when they aren't supposed to. how would a blind person be able to handle all of the things like that?
i think 2 deaf people would be able to handle things a bit better. deaf and blind? i think they should have help as well.
but i don't think any situation is warranted them losing their child.

Meghan - posted on 07/26/2010

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This isn't quite the same but my Grandfather was hit by a freight train when he was 9 years old and lost his entire left arm and all his fingers on his right hand (short of the thumb) He grew up to do EVERYTHING and then some. He could tie is own shoes, he was a brilliant painter, handwrote clearly, cooked, ate, drank...everything. He also got married (a few times lol) and raised 3 kids. I know from talking to my mom that things where hard on everyone, and there where some things the kids had to help with overall, my Grampy adjusted. I guess my point is that a handicap doesn't mean that you are useless. If you have a drive and passion for life and family you should be able to be given that expierence!

Lyndsay - posted on 07/26/2010

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I think it depends on the handicap. I think two blind parents could raise a child, because they could rely on their hearing to make sure the child is safe. Likewise with deaf parents, they can still see. I don't know about parents who are both blind AND deaf. Unless they physically tethered their child to them at all times (which I don't think is proper either), I can't see how they could ensure the child's safety. That is just the number one issue, though there are many others (like how is their child to come to them to talk about things, if they can't hear or see their signs?)

As for people with mental disabilities, same thing. It depends on their situation. For example, theres a girl in the group home that I work at who has severe fetal alcohol effects. She's 18 but is functioning at the level of a 4-6 year old in most areas. She should not legally be allowed to have a child, but I'm sure she probably will once shes finally released from care... and then that'll be another baby who's brought into the children's aid systems.

For the most part, I agree with everyone else. If the disabled people in question can care for themselves without assistance (or with little assistance), then they could probably care for children.

Lucy - posted on 07/26/2010

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It totally depends on the individual circumstances, but on the whole, I think that those who have the genuine wish to be good parents will rise to the challenge whatever obstacles may be in the way.

My Mum worked for several years as a community support worker, supporting and aiding adults with learning difficulties and physical disabilities, many of who had children. In most cases, both the parents had difficulties of one kind or another and they all needed different levels of support. Some needed help organising bills, replying to letters etc, whereas some needed help with your real basics eg, nappy changing, what to feed when weaning, how to be safe out and about etc.

Mum's attitude was always that she would rather public money be spent on this kind of support for loving parents to bring up their own children than disappearing into the care system and later the penal system because the kids were taken away and did not get a stable upbringing.

There is one particular married couple with pretty severe learning difficulties who Mum is still in touch with. They brought up two boys who are now excellent young men, one with a mild learning difficulty who works in a supermarket and one without any difficulties who is training to be a plumber.

Yes, public money has been spent to allow the couple to be parents. Yes, the boys have grown into productive members of society who are now contributing back into the system as tax payers.

Tara - posted on 07/26/2010

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yes
yes
and yes
The state should step in only when there is proof that the child is being abused or neglected. And in the case of neglect than perhaps supports would be of more benefit than removing the children.
I knew a mom who was blind, her husband was paralyzed from the waist down during a car accident when she was 3 months pregnant. She had a dog and had been blind all her life. They functioned amazingly. They had a specialized baby carrier so the baby could sit on dad's lap while mom did other things, they would go grocery shopping, he would direct her moves while "holding" the baby etc. They had to rely on a cab service for transport but other than that they were normal, wonderful and loving parents.
Tara
depends on the situation.

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If you are very mentally disabled etc were they cant even care for themselves ,then bringing a child into the world is not an option and i think if a child were to be born to a person unable to care for themselves then the state will automatically step in.

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Some very able minded and bodied parents can't mind there children,many of the parents who you have described do a wonderful job and if the cant then i do feel the state should step in like it would do in any situation were a parent can't take care of there child.

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Coley - I know that people will have babies whether they are supposed to or not I have met too many foster children who are in the system because their incapable parents continue to have children when they are not allowed to (by law). I think the only way to stop this is to make them have a steralisation BUT then that goes against their human rights so really there is nothing we can do. CPS should have stepped in in the case you described but again that does not always happen when it should.

Coley - posted on 07/24/2010

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Toni, I've met an older mentally handicapped "couple" before. The lady was at least able to drive, but the guy (her severely handicapped brother) wasn't able to function on his own. They had 3 kids together, who did *not* turn out alright, and were never taken by CPS, I guess because the mother was able to function as an adult. Just because someone shouldn't have kids, doesn't mean they won't.

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IMO if people can look after themselves effectively and can cope with their disability there is no reason why they should not have children. However, if a person needs another to look after them it is not fair on the child because if you cannot look after yourself HOW would you look after a child.

I think for mental disabilities it needs to be took into consideration the persons mental age - if they are mentally an adult then it is acceptable (given they can look after themselves etc) BUT if they are mentally children themselves it is wrong for them to have children and IMO they should NOT be having sexual relationships (having an adult body is not the same as understanding your actions the way an adult would).

Sharon - posted on 07/23/2010

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Kelly - I thought about those folks too. Those with extensive mental retardation, uncontrolled mental illness, etc.

I don't like the thought of denying anyone parenthood, but if you're relying on others to do what you can't - are you really being an adult parent?

[deleted account]

I know 2 deaf couples who are raising their children wonderfully. I also know a blind, single mother who is doing a wonderful job. All three families receive disability assistance, and both of the deaf fathers work outside the home. The blind mother does not work a regular job. They live in a pedestrian friendly area and she has a dog, but she relies heavily on cab service to get her son to events further from their home. She also relies heavily on a meal supplier and several local restaurants for food. She has systems for everything and I find it rather fascinating learning her "systems" as she calls them.

Deaf and blind, I think would be difficult, but with the right support systems in place, I do not think those disabilities would bar the possibility of parenting.

That said, I would worry about the ability of mentally disabled parents to parent effectively. Before I get bashed, I am referring to severely mentally disabled people, not those suffering from ADHD, mild personality disorders, and such, but those who are so mentally disabled they cannot work or perform regular duties without help.

Caitlin - posted on 07/23/2010

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I'm hard of hearing, I know a bit of sign language but mostly I lipread, Most of the deaf people I know are actually with hearing partners, I do know one deaf couple and their kid translates for them. The other day while I was at the hospital with my daughter I saw a blind woman with 2 sons who were leading her around, it was great to see really, I feel they are more accepting and aware of things at a younger age, which can be good for a kid.

Sharon - posted on 07/23/2010

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Not as low as you might think Caitlin. Like tends to marry like. Especially in those communities (or so I hear) Who else better to understand your needs than another deaf person?

How many "normal" people do you know who are fluent in signing?

I'm not sure if this is a sad thing - but every couple I know - only one is handicapped, and the handicap came later.

Coley - posted on 07/23/2010

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My mum interpreted sign language when I was younger, so I know a lot of deaf couples who have amazing bright kids.

Caitlin - posted on 07/23/2010

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The probability of 2 blind and deaf people being together and deciding to have a child i'm assuming is SOOO low that it's pretty much a non issue. I have no problem with handicapped people raising children, I think they may make better parents than some drug addicts!

Morgan - posted on 07/23/2010

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I like this one, but its has me going back on what I thought was true.
I think that anyone can make a wonderful parent handicapped or not, but as I think about it more there is a line where it just seems crazy to me, def and blind? how would you manage
I think case to case everything would be so diffrent I cant really answer when I think the state should step in.

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