Mother gets visitation despite severe disability

A mother in California was severely injured while giving birth to triplets. The injury left her permanently brain-damaged and paralyzed. She is unable to move or to speak, and she can communicate only by blinking.

The father filed for divorce two years after the birth, and began raising the children as a single parent. The mother’s parents, who were caring for her in another state, sued on her behalf to obtain visitation for her with the children.

The father argued that the mother was too disabled to benefit from the visits, and that their young children – who hadn’t seen her in two years – could be traumatized by her condition.

But the court found that even though the mother couldn’t interact with the children, the children could still see, touch and bond with her. Because of this, the court said, it was in the children’s best interest to maintain a relationship with her.

As a result, the mother was granted a monthly online Skype visit with the children, and a five-day visit each summer.