The Rights of Disabled Parents

Today I wrote my first piece for the Catholic website – Crux, talking about the problems with the references to disability in the recent papal letter. One argument – the rights of disabled parents, so easily abrogated, seems like a natural place for a moral agent like Pope Francis to invest some time addressing, but it’s totally missing in Amoris Laetitia.

Here’s a great map on the extent to which disability is considered when terminating parental rights, with ample resources on the right-hand tab (the map is accessible for screen readers. Each state pops up an alt-text). You will see that most states take at least some disability into account.

In other words, becoming or being disabled can result in the loss of your children.

I wrote this:

I’m struck by the narrow view of disability within the text, and the barriers it imposes between disabled and abled family members. Where is the papal message to disabled children about how they might respond to their families? More critically, where are the disabled parents?

Around the world, disabled parents face intense discrimination. They are too frequently stripped of their parental rights based on assumptions that disability renders them unfit. Wouldn’t this be a natural subject on which the papal position on the indissoluble nature of the family would be relevant?

Please read the whole piece!

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