Antonio Applauds Passage of Bill to Protect Parental Rights for People with Disabilities
May 25, 2022
Today, state Senator Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) announced the Senate's unanimous passage of Senate Bill 202. S. B. 202, joint-sponsored by Antonio and Senator Bob Hackett (R-London), would prohibit a person's disability from being used to deny or limit custody, parenting time, visitation, adoption or service as a guardian or foster caregiver.
“Every Ohioan is owed due process and equal protection under law,” Antonio said. “Senate Bill 202 will ensure that preconceived notions or biases against people with disabilities are not used to unfairly deprive them of their parental rights. This legislation will safeguard our children’s interests while helping to keep families together in Ohio.”
“This is part of our ongoing efforts to get the best care possible for Ohio's children in need," Hackett said. “This bill puts an end to this discrimination against the disabled in our state and helps ensure all children will get the loving and responsible care they deserve.”
According to a report by the National Council on Disability, approximately four million parents in the United States have a disability. Thirteen percent of parents with physical disabilities have reported discriminatory treatment in custody cases. Additionally, parents who are deaf or blind report extremely high rates of child removal and loss of parental rights. Parents with disabilities are also more likely to lose custody of their children after divorce.
Senate Bill 202 now heads to the House for referral to a committee.