The Disabled Mothers' Rights Campaign, co-ordinated by WinVisible, brings disabled mothers together to:
- Defend our rights to have a family and keep our children.
- Stop cruelty and discrimination from council social services and the family courts taking our children away. Disabled mums are labelled as “unfit mothers” and accused of harm or neglect when we ask the Council for support.
- Press councils to provide support to keep families together.
The Care Act says we should get support with caring for our children. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities says we have the right to establish a family and be supported.
Our campaign is for non-mothers too. Despite wanting to have a family, many disabled women do not go ahead with pregnancy for fear of having our babies taken us.
Our campaign worked with Channel 5 News on a feature broadcast in January 2023.
For national TV news to focus 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, especially those of us who are single, of colour, working class.
January 2023 Tye aged 19 with their mum Jean -- they both suffered forced adoption. Watch Channel 5 News video (captions available)
Our February 2023 Newsletter announced that since the Channel 5 News coverage, the president of the family court made a speech mentioning support for disabled parents. There seems to be some improvement in the decisions made by the court in cases of disabled mothers.
In July 2023, we launched the Disabled Mothers' Rights Charter with six demands -- info below.
In November 2023 -- we had our second 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 if you are wrongly accused of inventing your child's disabilities (Fabricated Induced Illness -- FII), health conditions which in fact are often genetic. An autistic mother who we invited to be interviewed anonymously, had her autistic son taken and placed in a children's home for four years. Watch the video here (captions available)
We've gathered some stories from disabled mums about our struggles and victories. We'd love to know about your situation, please get in touch.
Read our experiences of discrimination as mums in different situations, with visible and invisible disabilities, Deaf, blind. . . the prejudices we encounter. What some mothers have won, despite all the hardships.
A daughter says: “My mum is disabled and some people think negatively because of her wheelchair -- that makes me sad. But I feel good because people around here look up to my mum, I'm really proud of her because she makes lots of things happen".
A mum says: “I am a disabled person, wheelchair user and mother of two children. My disability never stops me from being a great mother . . . I’ve been able to bring up my two beautiful children, I even pushed my children’s pram with one hand. The experts are us!"
WinVisible (women with visible and invisible disabilities),
Crossroads Women's Centre, 25 Wolsey Mews, London NW5 2DX (map)
Tel: 020 7482 2496
What you can do
Help us gather information about the discrimination we face as
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
Sign up to our Campaign: we welcome endorsements from
organisations and professionals.
Professionals are welcome to contribute your experience and
Take part with us at the monthly picket of the Central Family Court,
held by Support Not Separation.
When: First Wednesday of every month
February 2024 -- The government's insulting Disability Action Plan 2024. WinVisible and the Disabled Mothers’ Rights Campaign (DMRC) took part in the consultation last year, here's our response.
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."
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."
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).
- Social services in the spotlight over disabled mothers -- The Canary 13 July 2023
- New campaign calls out discrimination against disabled mothers – Nadja 13 July 2023
- Social services in the spotlight at a disabled mothers event (thecanary.co) The Canary 7 July 2023
- Adoption: despicable tactics, the quest for profit, and £100k per kid (thecanary.co) The Canary 4 March 2023
- Adoption in the UK is driven by racism, ableism, and classism (thecanary.co) The Canary 2 March 2023
- Adoption targets marginalised women to snatch kids for £100k each (thecanary.co) The Canary 1 March 2023
- Investigation reveals ‘discrimination and hostility’ faced by disabled
parents -- Disability News Service, January 2023
Help with your case? If you need support, let us know and we can help you find support.
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.
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 email@example.com
We work with other groups that offer support and resources for
disabled mums. These include: