The National Council of Disability, a U.S. independent federal agency designed to address the rights of persons with disabilities, released a report entitled Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and their Children. The report combines real stories of parents with disabilities and policy analysis to create a study that serves as a comprehensive overview of factors that both support and obstruct the right of Americans with disabilities to have families.
The report responds to a number of statistics, noting that two thirds of states allow a person’s disability to be the sole evidence in determining a parent unfit for custody, and that all states allow the disability of the parent to be a factor in determining the best interests of the child. NCD asserts that this bias needs to be corrected by an amendment to the Americans with Disabilities Act or by a new law.
Key findings in the report include the following:
- Estimates indicate 6.1 million children in the U.S. have parents with disabilities – Nearly 1 in 10, almost 10% of the population.
- Removal rates of parents with psychiatric disabilities is as high as 70 – 80%.
- Removal rates of parents with intellectual disabilities is as high as 80%.
- Prospective parents with disabilities face significant barriers to adopting children.
NCD is also taking submissions of photos for the Family Faces of Disability photo album to accompany the report. The photo should capture your family’s day-to-day life as a way to personalize the issues faced by parents with disabilities in the United States. All photographs submitted to NCD’s “Family Faces of Disability” photo album MUST include a visual description of the picture for accessibility reasons. Submit your photo by emailing: FamilyPhotoAlbum@ncd.gov. You can view the photo album by clicking here.
To read the report, please click here.