Disabled Mothers’ Rights Campaign

Orange banner with white writing. Disabled Mothers' Rights Campaign -- to have and keep our kids. Drawing based on the wheelchair user symbol. A mum using a wheelchair lifts her baby up to her face. They are looking at each other.

Our campaign brings women with disabilities together to defend our rights to have a family and to keep our children.  Easy Read about our campaign is here

On 12 July 2023, we launched our Disabled Mothers' Rights Charter -- read our six demands here.  To endorse the Charter, contact us on mumsrights@winvisible.org  Scroll down to read more about the launch event.

Updates

WinVisible women holding our banner and placards at a protest against care charges.

December 2023 -- our open letter to Brent Council for their consultation highlights the impact of increased homecare charges on disabled mothers and disabled women at risk of domestic violence.

Image for meeting End Torture of disabled people in residential 'care' settings. A Black woman is speaking into a megaphone standing next to Big Ben, Parliament.

11 December -- Claire from WinVisible/Disabled Mothers' Rights Campaign spoke at the End torture of disabled people in residential 'care' settings meeting in Portcullis House, Parliament.

Disability News Service reported: "WinVisible said mothers who were part of the Disabled Mothers’ Rights Campaign had had their children taken away and placed in abusive institutions. . . . "Today, more children are in care than ever. Councils take children from low-income single mothers, disabled mothers, from care leavers, and women who report domestic violence. Children of colour and/or disabled children are disproportionately targetted."

Photo of Jodey Whiting. She has blond hair and is smiling.

November 2023 -- Justice for Jodey.  We have supported Joy Dove in her campaign for justice for her daughter Jodey Whiting, a disabled mother who tragically committed suicide after being cut off disability benefit for "failure to attend" a reassessment interview.  Joy won her legal challenge for a second inquest, now begun in Teeside, to investigate the responsibility of the DWP in Jodey's suicide. Our Disabled Mothers' Rights Charter demands: "Mothers, overwhelmingly the primary carers, must never be cut off benefits."

Photo of Tracey Norton. She has shoulder length brown hair and is wearing a shirt with flower pattern.

November 2023 -- Channel 5 News feature. DMRC co-ordinator Tracey Norton was one of three disabled mothers featured on Channel 5 News about the injustices and suffering of having your children taken away after you are wrongly accused of inventing your children's disabilities (Fabricated Induced Illness -- FII), which in fact are often genetic.  Watch the video here (captions available).

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Disabled women sitting on a panel with the Disabled Mothers' Rights Campaign banner on the wall, next to the sign language interpreter. An African woman wheelchair user is speaking on the microphone gesturing with her hand.

On 12 July 2023, we launched our Disabled Mothers' Rights Charter -- read our six demands here.

To endorse the Charter, contact us on mumsrights@winvisible.org

Thumbnail image of the Charter

Social services in the spotlight over disabled mothers -- The Canary

New campaign calls out discrimination against disabled mothers -- Nadja

People at the launch at the Crossroads Women's Centre and on Zoom

Launch event info Easy Read of event here

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May 2023 actions and events here

Tye and Jean. Tye is 19 with light brown long hair bleached blonde halfway down, with piercings and a punk look. Mum Jean has shoulder-length dark hair and she has red-rimmed glasses.
Tye aged 19 with their mum Jean -- they both suffered forced adoption

Watch Channel 5 News video, January 2023

February 2023 Newsletter here -- more disabled parents keeping children since Channel 5 News coverage.

The Canary reports on forced adoption, March 2023:

People in front of the family court building hold a red banner with Support not Separation stop snatching children from mums and nans. An orange banner reads Disabled Mothers' Rights Campaign -- to have & keep our kids.
  1. A protest just highlighted how adoption is the state-sanctioned, forcible removal of children from marginalised women -- read here
  2. Systemic racism and ableism pervades the misogynistic UK adoption industry -- read here
  3. When the price on a child’s head is £100k, no wonder adoption in the UK is so toxic -- read here

Investigation reveals ‘discrimination and hostility’ faced by disabled parents -- Disability News Service, January 2023

February 2023 Newsletter here

Info leaflet 2022 here

Contact the Disabled Mothers' Rights Campaign

Get involved

Drawing of a group of women, multi-racial, wheelchair user and others, standing in a circle with arms raised holding hands together.

Meet other disabled mums, help campaign together. There’s lots to do! Have your say on our Campaign demands as mothers from various backgrounds and situations.

Tell us your experiences

Two photos. A proud disabled mum sits upright holding her daughter who is perching on the armrest of her wheelchair. They are Afro-Caribbean and have long hair in plaits. Both are smiling 2nd photo: A smiling blind mum stands with her new baby wrapped to her in a sling, by her older daughters who play on swings.

We are gathering the stories of disabled mums’ struggles and victories. Please get in touch.

We say being a disabled mum is NOT 'harm' to children. See: Disabled mums: "we're the experts!"

Our stories and struggles

Read our experiences of discrimination as mums in different situations, what some mothers have won.

Listen to WinVisible's podcast about social care (International Women's Day, March 2022).

Monthly picket of the Family Court

Diverse women holding banners and placards outside a large imposing building (Family Court). Women Against Rape green banner. WinVisible. All African Women's Group. Legal Action for Women. Support Not Separation -- Stop snatching children from mums & nans.

WinVisible is part of the Support Not Separation coalition co-ordinated by Legal Action for Women.

Take part with us at the monthly picket of the Central Family Court, held by Support Not Separation.

When: First Wednesday of every month, 12.30pm-1.30pm

Where: outside Central Family Court, First Avenue House, 42-49 High Holborn, London WC1V 6NP

Online: Twitter storm @WinVisibleWomen @NotSeparation at the same time.

Next dates: Wed 7 Feb 2024, 6 March 2024.

Women holding the Disabled Mothers' Rights Campaign banner at the Support Not Separation picket of the Family Court, Holborn, London.

What you can do

Help us gather information about the discrimination we face as disabled mums.

If you are part of a group, get in touch and we can visit you on Zoom about the campaign, discuss what you can do in your borough and area.

Sign up to our Campaign: we welcome endorsements from organisations and professionals.

Professionals are welcome to contribute your experience and suggestions.

Contact us for more info and to get involved:

Disabled Mothers’ Rights Campaign

Email: mumsrights@winvisible.org

WinVisible (women with visible and invisible disabilities), Crossroads Women's Centre, 25 Wolsey Mews, London NW5 2DX

Tel: 020 7482 2496

Follow us on Twitter @WinVisibleWomen and @NotSeparation

Why are we campaigning?

Disabled mums are routinely labelled “unfit mothers” and accused of harm or neglect when we ask the Council for support.

Read more here.

A woman speaking on the microphone outside the Central London family court. Behind her is a placard, Adoptions: 90% without consent.

What the Campaign has done so far

Testimonies, lobbying and evidence to policy-makers -- more info

If you need help for your case

Visit the Self-help guide by Support Not Separation and advice on what to do if your case is urgent. The guide includes advice applicable to all mums, and some information specifically for disabled mums.

If you need support, let us know and we can help you find support.

Legal Action for Women holds regular self-help meetings for mothers and other primary carers facing children's social services and family court problems. For more info, email sns@legalactionforwomen.net

Resources

We work with other groups that offer support and resources for disabled mums.  These include:

Blind Parents UK group for blind parents and carers to support each other and share information. For example, how to pull a buggy.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image.png
Philippa Lomas of Blind Parents UK shows how to pull and steer a buggy behind you.

Ehlers-Danlos Support UK

Elfrida Society Parents Project (parents with learning disabilities)

Sign Health support service for deaf women suffering domestic abuse

Our funder

Thanks to the Trust for London -- Strengthening Voices, Realising Rights -- for their support.

Trust for London logo -- Thames river blue line. Trust for London -- Tackling poverty and inequality.
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