By: Zannie Carlson
March 26, 2011 marked a legal victory for mother, Abbie Dorn, when the Los Angeles County Court temporarily granted Dorn injunctive relief holding that she had children’s visitation rights. Severe complications during the labor of triplets led to Dorn’s permanent disability. As a paraplegic, Dorn’s primary mode of communication is through a series of blinks, which, following divorce, the father of the children deemed psychologically harmful to the triplets. The father chose to raise the children on his own, barring Dorn from visiting. Consequently, Dorn has only seen her children three times since their birth in 2006; it wasn’t until last year that the father even told his now-four year old daughters that they had a mother.
The court tentatively found that although Dorn’s interaction with her children is significantly impaired, the children still have the ability to interact with their mother. The court found that such interaction would in fact be beneficial to their psychological growth. This decision is still early in the case’s development, as a full trial is set for later this year. Nevertheless, Dorn and her parents, who filed suit on behalf of their daughter, are celebrating this temporary holding as a sign of the success to come. The fact that the case may end at the county level may limit its effect but the case, nonetheless, marks a notable achievement in disability rights.
TMA Staff Writer