Newsletter February 2023 – Easy Read coming soon
The Disabled Mothers’ Rights Campaign (DMRC) brings disabled mothers together to defend our rights to have a family and to keep our children. The campaign is co-ordinated by WinVisible.
DMRC, together with the Support Not Separation coalition we are part of, worked with Channel 5 News for a feature and research about disabled parents, mostly mothers. The news was broadcast on 25 January 2023.
Jean and Tye gave an emotional interview about the forced adoption they suffered. They reunited after 17 years apart. Jean says: “Time was stolen from us.” Tye says: “I could have had her growing up. I could have had someone that fought for me relentlessly. And I didn’t get that. And I should have.”
Watch the news video here and viewers’ response – click icon for captions.
Watch their full interview here.
“Anna”, a mother with a moderate learning disability, spoke about the distress of having three children taken away, including a baby of nine months old.
5 News announced their shocking findings that parents with a learning disability are 54 times more likely to have their children taken into care. This confirms our experience of the discrimination and hostility faced by disabled mothers, and other single, working class and mothers of colour who face an uphill battle to stop social workers and the family courts taking our children from us.
We are looking at the 5 News research in detail. We have been pressing Ealing Council and other councils across London to provide figures on how many disabled mothers are getting support, or are put under “child protection” measures instead. Many told us they don’t keep that information — but they have answered the 5 News questions.
National TV news on discrimination against disabled mothers is a big breakthrough for women’s disability rights and for all mothers up against social services and the family courts. 5 News has around a quarter of a million viewers, on Twitter they had 109,400 views of their tweet and 20,700 views of their video, and more on Facebook (with captions).
We had a flurry of calls and messages from disabled mothers, and grandmothers supporting disabled mothers, including:
“I am a mum, my children were taken from me. I have a learning disability they used that against me and mental health. I too was looked after by the system the same system that failed me they didn’t provide me clothes from age of 12-16 disgusting social services should be ashamed of themselves.”
“Keep up your amazing work — family court and all those involved needs to be highlighted, it is truly scandalous.”
“Thank you for information. Exactly same myself. Deaf. They took my children away on 2003 by social workers. Hope social worker stop take disability parent their children away.”
A mother in our campaign group said:
“Well done to you all & unrelenting efforts to eradicate these rampant discriminations, profound pains by Social Services Department, and unacceptable secret Family Court. You gave us voice & hope…. Keep up good work !!! B 🥰”
Disabled mothers and grandmothers looking after children are also coming to WinVisible about our Care Act rights – council support we are legally entitled to. To support us caring for children, and against homecare charges, cuts in hours and being pressured to put very young children in nursery.
We got press coverage too:
- Investigation reveals ‘discrimination and hostility’ faced by disabled parents – Disability News Service
- Children of parents with a learning disability 54 times more likely to be taken into care — Learning Disability Today
- Parents with a learning disability are 54 times more likely to have children taken into care — Morning Star
We have also been campaigning against forced prepayment meters. Nicole Als, a mother in our group, spoke to the Camden New Journal about her experience of dealing with fuel poverty and prepayment meters as a disabled mother. More here
Contact us to get involved:
- Share your struggles and experiences
- Find out more about campaign meetings, ways you can help and spread the word
- Take part with us in the monthly picket of the Family Court, in person and Twitter storm.
When: 12.30-1.30pm, first Wednesday every month.
Wednesday 1 March, Wednesday 5 April . . .
Where: First Avenue House, 42-49 High Holborn, London WC1V 6NP and on Twitter. Map
email@example.com 0207 482 2496