In 2009, my oldest daughter turned 18 and she and I needed to make some decisions regarding where the next phase of her life would lead. Jessica, who is significantly disabled, was living in a group home, still going to school, and still experiencing some issues related to her Reactive Attachment Disorder. Many of the support staff in her life were telling me that I needed to file for guardianship of Jessica so that I could continue to make decisions for her now that she was an adult. But that was very difficult for me.
Becoming Jessica's guardian meant I would have to stand up in court and say she was incompetent of making any decision. If the judge agreed that I should be her guardian, it would mean that Jessica would lose many important civil rights, rights that would be almost impossible to restore in the future.
I decided against guardianship, but again arrived at a similar decision point when both Ashley and Ronnie reached 18 years old. As in 2009, I renewed my research into guardianship and consulted with the attorney that had helped me previously. I have also decided not to seek guardianship for Ronnie and Ashley, but I feel like I should share my story of why I made that decision.
Below I have listed three posts from 2009 that chronicled my journey through the guardianship decision. I have also listed to other links, one from the ARC of the United States and one from the ACLU. Both these sources do a much better job of explaining the guardianship issue than I can.
I hope any parent facing this issue now will find some value in this information. But as I said in one of my posts on this subject, if you are considering any legal action involving your adult child with a disability, I urge you to contact an attorney or you state's protection and advocacy organization.
Someone to Watch Over Me
Someone To Watch Over Me - Followup #1
Someone To Watch Over Me - Followup #2"
Guardianship - ARC of the United States
Disability Is No Excuse To Deprive One of Civil Liberties - ACLU