Intellectually Disabled Parents Have The Legal Right And Human Desire To Become Parents.

1590 words - 6 pages

LAW FINAL: Student April 8, 2002"...in one generation people have gone from being idiots and morons to neighbours and friends and that's been quite a journey." Author and disability rights activist, Dave HingsburgerIntellectually disabled parents have the human desire and legal right to become parents, but doesn't a child have the right to a secure and stimulating environment? The film Is Love Enough presents several stories that provide excellent positions for discussion. Discussions that involve human rights issues, intellectually disabled parenting issues, and children's rights issues. The question as to whether love is all that is needed is raised when intellectually disabled parents want to raise their children on their own. This film addresses these issues by providing perspectives from prospective intellectually disabled parents, family members, and social service advocates. The film presents real life views of a challenging issue. The film Is Love Enough features personal stories about individuals that are struggling with their disabilities and their rights. Susan for example, is an intellectually disabled adult whose baby was removed from her care. A social worker, a lawyer, and family members all help Susan fight for her baby. A college student with intellectually disabled parents named MaryAnn, credits her aunt for providing the necessary care and guidance during her teenage years. MaryAnn expresses her opinions and views throughout the film. The real life issues inevitably create awareness for the viewers as to what life would be like, or is like, living with or as an intellectually disabled person. Two intellectually disabled adults named Vincent and Fran are parents who agreed to give up their baby for adoption and then changed their minds. Richard and Karen are from Ontario. They are intellectually disabled and married since 1995. They are passionate in their desire to adopt a baby. As Richard says in the film, "Just because we look different and talk different, we have love for each other and love to give a child. Everyone has a void; this is our void...give us a chance"(video). This type of adoption would be the first of its kind in Canada. Parenting is one of the most demanding responsibilities for human kind, proving to be a challenge for anyone. Kaatz (1992) states, " What if a parent is mentally disabled and has trouble with basic skills like reading and writing and grasping concepts and ideas" (211). Should he or she be trusted with raising a child? Do basic life skills substantiate the right to be a parent? Historically, it was believed that by forcibly sterilizing the mentally challenged, the elimination of the disability would prevail. Hunsburger (1997) states, " In 1928, the Alberta Government, supported by some of society's most prominent members, passed a Sterilization Act. By the time the Act was repealed in 1972, the lives of nearly 3,000 individuals were irreparably changed" (p.42). It is now recognized that barely...

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