The question of guardianship may seem like a simple decision to be made, but being placed under guardianship can have devastating effects for a person with developmental disabilities. It's often seen as the only option when a person needs assistance or support in making decisions, but disability advocates say it can lead to a loss of freedoms.
Preliminary results from a project on guardianship in Missouri show that more work needs to be done to educate the public about the rights of people with developmental disabilities.
Five years ago, Cristal Chapman says someone filed a petition to place her under full guardianship when she began having some personal difficulties as a result of her disabilities. She says she was forced to live hours away from her husband in a locked-down facility and had to give up some of her civil and human rights, even though she had done nothing wrong.
"They took away my freedom of religion. There was one point where they wouldn't let me talk to, see or write my husband. It was pretty bad."
With assistance from Missouri Protection and Advocacy Services, through the Guardianship project, Chapman successfully petitioned the court and restored her rights. Chapman is again living independently with her husband, and making her own decisions.
Full Article and Source:
More Education Needed in MO About Guardianship