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Paralyzed Mother Unable to See Kids, Fights for Visitation

A set of triplets, each 4 ½ years old, is in the middle of a visitation dispute. Their mother, who lives on the East Coast, wants visitation rights; the triplets' father who lives on the West Coast does not think that the children should not be able to see their mother.

Visitation issues can become very emotionally heated and overwhelming for all parties involved, including the kids. It can be difficult for any parent to lose the right to see their children and even more difficult for children to not see both parents.

This particular custody battle is a little different because the mother is confined to a wheelchair after suffering serious brain damage during the birth of her triplets. She has only seen her children twice; once was the day that they were born.

The mother's parents, named her conservators, are trying to get visitation rights for her. The mother's attorney argues that there is no reason to deny visitation rights unless it can be shown that seeing their mother would actually harm the three children. The attorney believes that the mother has a right to see her children in the same way that disabled parents or parents in prison can see their kids.

The father's attorney believes that the right to visitation is only for parents who are fit to do so. She claims that the mother is not fit because she cannot communicate with her words and may not even realize that her children are in front of her.

The dispute has been going on for almost a year and should hopefully come to an end in the near future. The children and the mother have all undergone psychological evaluations, the results of which are not fully available to the public. But the recent and only visit, since the hospital, where the mother and children were able to interact did not indicate any harm to the children.

Source: The LA Times online, "Disabled mother battling for visitation rights gets precious time with her kids," Maria L. La Granga, 24 January 2011

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