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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 reproduction and child rearing among this population persist. The authors trace these prejudices to the eugenics movement of the late 19th and early 20th 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 they purport to protect.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674006973
ISBN-10: 0674006976
Format: Paperback
(235mm x 155mm x 23mm)
Pages: 460
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 16-Oct-2001
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Martha A. Field

Martha A. Field is Langdell Professor of Law at Harvard University. Valerie A. Sanchez is Assistant Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Institute for Dispute Resolution at the University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law. She was formerly Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School.

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