Rep. Terri Cortvriend and Sen. Louis DiPalma have been named 2021 Legislative Champions by the Rhode Island Coalition for Children and Families for their sponsorship of the Preservation of Families with Disabled Parents Act, which became law this year.

The new law (2021-S 00562021-H 5394) protects children who have parents with disabilities by establishing procedural safeguards that require adherence to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Specifically, it 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. 

“This law protects children and the rights of the parents to parent.  After much work by the sponsors and advocates with the Rhode Island Family Court and Department of Children, Youth, and Families, we are so pleased this legislation has successfully become law and to have the opportunity to recognize the sponsors,” said RICCF Executive Director Tanja Kubas-Meyer in a press release.

The awards were presented to Representative Cortvriend (D-Dist. 72, Portsmouth, Middletown) and Senator DiPalma (D-Dist. 12, Middletown, Little Compton, Newport, Tiverton) virtually Dec. 8 at the coalition’s annual meeting.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).