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Mother denied access to unborn child - Mencap comments
Monday 19 October 2009
Following reports that a young woman with a learning disability was told that she is not intelligent enough to look after her baby, Mencap comments on the issue of parenting capacity of people with a learning disability.
Mencap's chief executive, Mark Goldring said:
"There are around a quarter of a million parents with a learning disability in the UK, all of whom should have the same opportunities as anyone else to be a parent and look after their own children. Yet up to 60 per cent* of parents who have a learning disability will at some stage have their children taken away, often because of preconceived ideas that parents with a learning disability are unable to cope.
"With the right support people with a learning disability can be and are excellent parents, yet many fear that asking for help may be seen as an admission of failure which would result in their children being taken away.
"Mencap wants support for parents with a learning disability to be more readily available, as well as learning disability training for local authorities so that decisions about parenting capacity are made on the individual case rather than prejudice."
* Emerson et al (2205) Adults with Learning Disabilities in England 2003-04.
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