Andrade advocates for parents with disabilities

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INDIANAPOLIS — State Representative Mike Andrade (D-Munster), whose legislative priorities include support for those with disabilities, is proud to co-sponsor Senate Bill 259, which passed the House unanimously today. Under the bill, a parent’s right to raise their child cannot be denied or restricted solely because that parent has a disability. 

“This fight has been an uphill battle, and I’m so glad that the entire House can come together and stand with our disabled community,” Andrade said. “A parent's love for their child should be treated the same, no matter if that parent has a disability or not.”

The bill provides that a court or the Department of Child Services (DCS) cannot discriminate against a person with a disability when deciding guardianship, custody, adoption or foster family homes.

It also goes further to require DCS to partner with the Indiana Statewide Independent Living Council, Self-Advocates of Indiana and Arc of Indiana to provide training programs conducted by a person with a disability to educate DCS employees on the rights and capabilities of persons with disabilities.

“This bill brings different organizations together to work as a team to benefit our disabled community,” Andrade said. “We’re not just telling DCS employees to treat parents with disabilities equally, we’re providing tangible educational resources so they are informed and aware of how not to discriminate against this certain population.”

SB 259 now heads back to the Senate for final approval.

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