National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities: Parents Empowering Parents / Padres Empoderando a Padres

The National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities conducts research and provides training and technical assistance to improve the lives of parents with disabilities and their families. We share our findings here on this website. We also offer information sheets, research briefs, and other resources.

Our resources are for parents with disabilities, legal professionals, social workers, and researchers, and cover a variety of topics, including child-welfare law and its effects on parents with disabilities, firsthand narratives from disabled parents about how they raise their children, and advice for professionals working with specific populations of parents with disabilities.

The Center for Parents recognizes that parents with disabilities know what they need. We are guided by the principle "nothing about us without us."

What's Happening at the Center for Parents

Disabled Parenting within Multigenerational Families webinar announcement

Disabled Parenting within Multigenerational Families

Due to service gaps in home and community-based services and other factors, many adults with disabilities, including those who are parents, may continue to live with their families of origin. Our panelists discuss their experiences and discuss the policy implications. 

Register now

Robyn Powell Receives APHA Law Section's 2022 Early Career Award for Excellence in Public Health Law

Lurie Researcher Robyn Powell Receives Award for Excellence

At the American Public Health Association's annual conference, Robyn Powell was recognized for her work with the Early Career Award for Excellence in Public Health Law. The APHA Law Section gives the Early Career Award annually "to an individual who demonstrates great promise as a future leader in the field of public health law."

Powell's work focuses especially on the intersection of disability and reproductive justice.

Read More about Robyn Powell


Webinar: Black, Disabled, Deaf, & ProudBlack, Disabled, Deaf, & Proud

Webinar panelists discussed the intersectionality of their disability identity with their racial identities and what this means for their parenting. Recording and summary now available.

Access the Webinar recording

ParentingWell Learning Collaborative

Massachusetts Behavioral Health Providers are participating in the ParentingWell Learning Collaborative

ParentingWell® is an approach to routine practice that makes talking about parenting, children, and family experiences a natural part of the conversation and of an adult’s recovery process. 

Learn more about the ParentingWell Practice Profile

Upcoming & Recent

Go to: Upcoming WebinarsPast Webinars

Disabled Parenting within Multigenerational Families webinar poster

Upcoming Webinar: Disabled Parenting within Multigenerational Families

Many adults with disabilities, including those who are parents, may continue to live with their families of origin due to factors such as gaps in home and community-based services. Register for the webinar.

Webinar: Perinatal Health of Women with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Perinatal Health of Women with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

At the National Center for Disability and Pregnancy Research, parent panelist Lindsay Brillhart shared her pregnancy and parenting experiences.

Access the webinar recording

Webinar: Disabled Parents in the NICU

Webinar: Disabled Parents in the NICU

On June 7, 2022 at noon, we presented a webinar featuring two disabled parent panelists whose babies were born prematurely and admitted to the NICU. Access the webinar recording.

Webinar: Black, Disabled, Deaf, & Proud

Webinar: Black, Disabled, Deaf, & Proud

On March 30, 2022, we presented a webinar on Black, Disabled, Deaf, & Proud. Access the webinar recording or read the webinar summary.

Our Map Resources

Current U.S. State Legislation Supporting Parents with Disabilities

Despite notable achievements in other areas of disability rights, parents with disabilities continue to encounter significant discrimination. Parents with disabilities are more likely to have their children removed by the child welfare system as well as have their parental rights terminated. Moreover, within the family law system, disabled parents are less likely to gain access to custody or visitation of their children. Finally, prospective parents with disabilities encounter barriers to adopting children or becoming foster parents. While there are many reasons for the pervasive discrimination, it is notable that the child welfare, family law, and adoption systems are largely driven by state statutes.

Go to Interactive Map | Go to Legal Background | Go to Summary of State Legislation

Current U.S. State Laws Terminating Parental Rights on a Basis Including a Parent's Disability

Current laws in many U.S. states include parental disability as grounds for the termination of parental rights. While some states have no laws allowing for parental disabilities as such to be grounds for terminating parental rights, most states have laws permitting this. Our map represents the nine combinations of disabilities that states now allow as grounds for terminating parental rights based on a parent's disability.

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