The Los Angeles Times published an article on September 30th about how disabled mothers are often forgotten by modern medicine. As a woman with Cerebral Palsy, I’ve often thought about having children later on in life. I do wonder if society would deem me unfit for motherhood because of my Cerebral Palsy. Having a disability doesn’t automatically make a woman unfit for motherhood. Although there have been cases such as that of Kaney O’Neill, who has quadriplegia, where a disabled woman has had to prove that she is fit for the duties of motherhood to have custody of her child.
My biggest fear is that my child would resent the fact that they had a disabled mother. I wouldn’t be able to go down slides with them or pick them up if they fell. Caring for a child involves much more than just taking care of their physical needs. I would do my best to help raise my child to be a happy, well-adjusted, kind citizen. Just because I have CP doesn’t mean that I cannot raise a child if I so choose. I may have to find creative parenting solutions, but that is fine with me.
I hope that if I have a child in the future, they will grow up knowing that their mother loves them and does the best she can. Regardless of whether society thinks I am fit to be a mother, all that would matter to me is that my child knows that they are loved unconditionally.
Brownstein, Joseph. “Quadriplegic Mother Fights for Custody of Son.” ABC News, ABC News Network, 22 Dec. 2009, https://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/quadraplegic-mother-fights-maintain-custody-son/story?id=9403163.
Sharp, Sonja. “Disabled Mothers-to-Be Face Indignity: ‘Do You Have a Man? Can You Have Sex?’.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 30 Sept. 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-09-30/how-modern-medicine-neglects-disabled-mothers.