State Rep. Sharon Ray (R-Wadsworth) has recently introduced House Bill 352, which will prohibit courts and agencies from denying the rights of a parent seeking to adopt within the foster care system. The bipartisan bill seeks to ensure the rights of parents with disabilities are protected in these types of cases. Ray is a sponsor of the bill.
“In these types of situations, we want to ensure that parents with disabilities are afforded the same types of rights as others as they seek to be caring mothers and fathers for minors that are in our state’s foster care system,” said Ray.
Specifically, the bill prevents courts and agencies from denying or limiting a parent from the following due to their disability:
- Exercising custody, parenting time, or visitation rights with a minor;
- Adopting a minor;
- Serving as a foster caregiver for a minor; and
- Appointment as a guardian for a minor.
With these protections in place, a court still may determine with evidence if a person’s disability could have a detrimental impact on the child. This provision will help with consideration for the best interest of a child.
The legislation has nearly twenty cosponsors and has been referred to the House Civil Justice Committee. House Bill 352 awaits its first hearing.