Equal Treatment for People with Mental Retardation: Having and Raising Children

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, 1999 - Law - 439 pages
0 Reviews
Engaging in sex, becoming parents, raising children: these are among the most personal decisions we make, and for people with mental retardation, they have been consistently challenged, regulated, and outlawed. This book is a comprehensive study of the American legal doctrines and social policies, past and present, that have governed procreation and parenting by persons with mental retardation. It argues persuasively that persons with retardation should have legal authority to make their own decisions.

Despite the progress of the normalization movement, which has moved so many people with mental retardation into the mainstream since the 1960s, negative myths about production and child rearing among this population persist. Martha Field and Valerie Sanchez trace these prejudices to the eugenics movement of the late nineteenth and early centuries. They show how misperceptions have led to inconsistent and discriminatory outcomes when third parties seek to make birth control or parenting decisions for people with mental retardation. And they explore the effect of these decisions on those purport to protect. Detailed, thorough, and just, their book is in effect a sustained argument for reform of the legal practices and social policies it describes.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

Equal treatment for people with mental retardation: having and raising children

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Field, a Harvard law professor and author of Surrogate Motherhood (LJ 11/15/88), and civil liberties practitioner Sanchez provide a comprehensive examination of the reproductive and parental rights of ... Read full review


Some Families
Public Policy Past and Present
Who Are Called Retarded?

18 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1999)

Valerie A. Sanchez has been Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School.

Bibliographic information