how smart do you have to be to be a parentFantastic and thought provoking article in New York Magazine – “Who Knows Best.”  What happens when people with mental disabilities have children and the hospital calls in the Department of Children’s Services?

This article follows the case of Sarah Gordon, a single poor white woman who gave birth at age 19 to a baby girl. The hospital was worried that Sara “was not able to comprehend how to handle or care for the child due to the mother’s mental retardation.” They contacted the DCS. Although she lived with her parents who were willing to help her raise her daughter, the state decided that her disability interfered with her ability to parent and they placed the child in foster care.

What was unusual in this case is that Sarah Gordon fought long and hard for her daughter. The article examines the question of how smart do you need to be to parent.