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Lottery of birth
Lottery of birth

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5.1 Parents with disabilities

Laurence and Adele Clark are parents of two boys, Tom and Jamie. Both Laurence and Adele have cerebral palsy. They have made a documentary about their experiences as disabled parents.

In this video you can see Laurence and Adele (and Laurence’s mother) in the early days at home with their second son, Jamie.

Download this video clip.Video player: ou_futurelearn_birth_vid_1014.mp4
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Laurence and Adele are open about the additional challenges of being disabled parents but argue they ‘aren’t special’, they just want to be able to experience one of life’s great elements, being a parent, like everyone else.

Their decision to have children was not taken lightly but may, to some people, seem difficult to understand. You’ll consider your feelings about Laurence and Adele in the following activity.

Activity 2

Think about your feelings and reactions to Laurence and Adele. Consider these questions and write your answers in the box below:

  • What did you feel when you watched Laurence and Adele bathing and changing their new born son?
  • Are the barriers to disabled parenting purely social?
  • Should any barriers to disabled parenting exist?
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In the next section, you will think further about the choices surrounding parenthood.