Full Text of HB2626 100th General Assembly
HB2626 100TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
100TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
State of Illinois
2017 and 2018
Introduced , by Rep. Laura Fine
SYNOPSIS AS INTRODUCED:
Creates the Parental Rights for the Blind Act. Contains statements of
legislative findings and purpose. Defines terms. Provides that a person's
blindness shall not serve as a basis for denial or restriction of parenting
time, the allocation of parental responsibilities, participation in
adoption proceedings, foster care placement, or guardianship appointment.
Provides that if a person's blindness is alleged to have a detrimental
impact on a child, the party raising the allegation bears the burden of
proving by clear and convincing evidence that the blindness endangers or
will likely endanger the health, safety, or welfare of the child. Provides
that if the burden is met, the person with blindness shall have the
opportunity to demonstrate that the implementation of supportive parenting
services will alleviate any concerns that have been raised. Provides that
the court may require that the supportive parenting services be put in
place, with an opportunity to review the need for continuation of the
services within a reasonable period of time. Provides that if a court
determines that a blind person's parental rights should be denied or
limited in any manner, the court shall make specific written findings
stating the basis for such a determination and why the provision of
supportive parenting services is not a reasonable accommodation that must
be made to prevent such denial or limitation.
A BILL FOR
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AN ACT concerning civil law.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
This Act may be cited as the
Parental Rights for the Blind Act.
The General Assembly finds that:
(1) blind individuals continue to face unfair,
preconceived, and unnecessary societal biases as well as
antiquated attitudes regarding their ability to
successfully parent their children;
(2) blind individuals face these biases and
preconceived attitudes in family and dependency law
proceedings in which the allocation of parental
responsibilities and parenting time are at stake and in
public and private adoption, guardianship, and foster care
(3) because of these societal biases and antiquated
attitudes, children of blind parents are unnecessarily
being removed from their parents' care or being restricted
from enjoying meaningful time with their parents; and
(4) children are being denied the opportunity to enjoy
the experience of living in loving homes with blind parents
or other blind caregivers.
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The purpose of this Act is to protect
the best interests of children cared for or parented by blind
individuals or children who could be cared for or parented by
blind individuals through the establishment of procedural
safeguards that require adherence to the Americans with
Disabilities Act and respect for the due process and equal
protection rights of blind parents or prospective blind parents
in the context of child welfare, foster care, family law, and
As used in this Act:
"Blindness" means central visual acuity of 20/200 or less
in the better eye with the use of a correcting lens. An eye
that has a limitation in the field of vision so that the widest
diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than
20 degrees is considered to have a central visual acuity of
20/200 or less. "Blindness" includes a degenerative condition
that reasonably can be expected to result in blindness.
"Supportive parenting services" means services that assist
a person with blindness in the effective use of non-visual
techniques and other alternative methods to enable the person
to discharge parental responsibilities as successfully as a
person who does not have blindness.
Prohibitions; burden of proof.
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(a) A person's blindness shall not serve as a basis for
denial or restriction of parenting time or the allocation of
parental responsibilities if the parenting time or the
allocation of parental responsibilities is determined to be
otherwise in the best interests of the child.
(b) A person's blindness shall not serve as a basis for
denial of participation in public or private adoption when the
adoption is determined to be otherwise in the best interests of
(c) A person's blindness shall not serve as a basis for
denial of foster care or guardianship when the appointment is
determined to be otherwise in the best interests of the child.
(d) If a person's blindness is alleged to have a
detrimental impact on a child, the party raising the allegation
bears the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence
that the blindness endangers or will likely endanger the
health, safety, or welfare of the child.
(e) If the burden under subsection (d) is met, the person
with blindness shall have the opportunity to demonstrate that
the implementation of supportive parenting services will
alleviate any concerns that have been raised. The court may
require that the supportive parenting services be put in place,
with an opportunity to review the need for continuation of the
services within a reasonable period of time.
(f) If the court determines that the right of a person with
blindness to the allocation of parental responsibilities,
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parenting time, foster care, guardianship, or adoption should
be denied or limited in any manner, the court shall make
specific written findings stating the basis for such a
determination and why the provision of supportive parenting
services is not a reasonable accommodation that must be made to
prevent the denial or limitation.