The nation was captivated by the story about a mother, paralyzed after giving birth to triplets, and her fight to see her three children. The mother and the father of the children were in the middle of a complicated visitation dispute. The biggest contention was whether the mother was a fit parent.
But just recently, the judge ruled that the mother has visitation rights and will be able to see her kids five times a year. This decision marks the end of a long legal battle, one that was difficult for everyone involved.
Back in 2006, the mother was about to give birth to triplets; she was still married to the kids' father at the time. But an accident that occurred during delivery left her with severe brain damage. As a result, she cannot move or speak and requires constant care.
The children's father took custody of the children and has been raising them since. Initially, he believed it would best for the children to wait a few years until they were older to see their mother. But the judge disagreed, saying that a relationship between a mother and her children is important; given the circumstances, the children should be able to interact with her.
During a visit last December, the four-year-old triplets seemed to bond with their mother, even though she couldn't speak to them. Evidence showed that the three children held onto photos of her long after that visit had ended.
Though the current agreement only permits five one-day visits each year, the mother will also be able to use Skype, a video-chat service through the Internet, to further develop the relationship. Despite the lengthy and emotionally-wrought process, all involved believe it's the right decision for the children.
Source: ABC News online, "California Judge Says Paralyzed Mother Has Right to Visits With Her Children," Sherisse Pham, 25 March 2011