Family Blames Special Education Service For Daughter's
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 12, 2005
MAR LIN, PENNSYLVANIA--A Pennsylvania family is considering taking legal action against a special education service in what could become one of the most unusual "wrongful life" or "wrongful birth" cases in the country.
According to the Shamokin News-Item, the family is accusing the Schuylkill Intermediate Unit 29 of failing to supervise their 17-year-old daughter, leaving her alone to have sex several times with a 15-year-old boy. The girl is expected to give birth in July.
Both teens, who were not named in the press for privacy reasons, reportedly have mental disabilities. The girl's mother said they did not have a relationship outside the special education school.
Michael J. Fiorillo, the attorney representing the family, said his clients might sue IU 29 to recover the cost of raising the child, who might also have disabilities.
WNEP reported this week that the Schuylkill County district attorney's office has found no evidence of wrongdoing by the education service, and that the girl's mother has filed a formal complaint with the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Gregor Wolbring, a thalidimide survivor and founder of the International Network on Bioethics and Disability, has defined "wrongful life" cases as those in which a person sues someone else, a doctor for example, for being born. In "wrongful birth" cases, on the other hand, a parent usually sues after giving birth to a child with a disability through a pregnancy that could have been avoided.