Couple’s Parenting Ability Called Into Question Over Their Disabilities
A Missouri couple with disabilities is finally getting to take their infant daughter home two months after state officials seized her alleging they could not properly care for the girl.
Mikaela Sinnett was taken from her parents, Blake Sinnett and Erika Johnson, within hours of her birth by the Missouri Department of Social Services in May. State officials said the couple — both of whom are blind — would not be able to care for their daughter without constant assistance from a person with sight.
The girl was placed in foster care until last week when the state backed down.
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“Despite the fact that blind parents are successfully raising children across the nation, blind Americans continue to find that misconceptions and stereotypes about the capabilities of blind people too often result in hasty and unwarranted decisions to remove children from the custody of blind parents,” said Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind, which hired an attorney to help Sinnett and Johnson regain custody.
The couple’s attorney told Reuters that they may file a lawsuit against the state to ensure that other parents with disabilities don’t face the same hurdle.