What’s Up Newp’s content is free to read, and always will be, but we rely on your support to keep it that way.
It takes just 30 seconds and you can choose the amount.
Sen. Louis P. DiPalma (D-Dist. 12, Middletown, Little Compton, Newport, Tiverton) and Rep. Terri Cortvriend’s (Dist. 72, Portsmouth Middletown) legislation (2021-S 0056 / 2021-H 5394) that precludes the disability of a parent from serving as a basis for denial or restriction in matters involving a child’s welfare, foster care, family law, guardianship and adoption was passed by the General Assembly tonight.
“Individuals with disabilities continue to face unfair, preconceived, and unnecessary societal biases, as well as antiquated attitudes regarding their ability to successfully parent their own children. This leads to new parents with disabilities being unnecessarily referred to social workers and governmental staff for evaluations of their parenting abilities to provide proper care and environments for their children, based solely upon erroneous assumptions about the parent’s disability. This is unfair, unjust, and may also have serious effects on children who may be denied the opportunity to live in a loving home with parents or caretakers who also have disabilities. Our society is strongest with strong family environments so we should not eliminate loving homes for our kids simply because a parent has a disability,” said Senator DiPalma in a statement.
“Our world is a better place when we recognize that loving, supportive families come in many, many varieties. Lots of children grow up with one or even both of their parents disabled, and their families are worthy and valuable,” said Representative Cortvriend in a statement. “This legislation will prevent children from being denied loving homes due to the false, discriminatory and very outdated assumption that their parents are inadequate guardians due to their disabilities.”
The purpose of the legislation is to protect the best interests of children who have parents with disabilities by establishing procedural safeguards that require adherence to the Americans with Disabilities Act. This would include education of hospital, child protective services and judicial staff in the equal protection rights of parents with disabilities in the context of child welfare, foster care, family law, and adoption.
The legislation states that a parent’s disability cannot serve as the basis of referral to a hospital social worker or the Department of Children, Youth, and Families. The parent’s disability cannot serve as the basis for the denial or restriction of visitation and custody either if the child’s best interests are taken into account.
Also, when a parent’s disability is alleged to have a detrimental impact on a child, the party raising the allegation bears the burden of proving, by clear and convincing evidence that the behaviors are, or will likely, endanger the health, safety, and welfare of the child.
The bill now heads to the governor’s desk for consideration.
More From What’s Up Newp
- Sax greats Abate and Moretti release new albums in 2021
- Easton’s Beach reopens for swimming
- Obituary: Anna Maria DeSousa
- Obituary: Manuel G. Moitoza, III
- What’s Up at the Movies: We Review “In the Heights”
- The Gamm Theatre Announces Auditions for Season 37 (2021-2022)
- Brian C. Jones: In case of emergency, don’t call me
- RIDOH and DEM are advising people to avoid contact with Almy Pond due to a blue-green algae
- Record Store Day returns Saturday, June 12th
- Newport Polo will host its annual Newport Cup on Saturday
- DEM hosting virtual workshop on draft water quality restoration study for Newport water supply reservoirs
- 32 Open Houses to check out this weekend in Newport County (June 11 – 13)
- Newport leaders to pay respects for former sister-city Mayor
- Governor McKee, RIDOH provide COVID-19 Vaccination Update
- Top 10 ‘must-see and do’ events and attractions in Boston this summer