– Carolyn Frohmader (2009)

This Paper canvasses issues relating to parenting for women with disabilities in Australia, and stems from the identified concerns of the members of Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA), along with the dearth of Australian research in the area. The right to found a family and to reproductive freedom is clearly articulated in a number of international human rights treaties to which Australia is a signatory.

Yet, for many women with disabilities in Australia who are parents or seeking to become parents, these fundamental human rights are not achievable. Instead, as WWDA’s Policy Paper demonstrates, disabled women experience a range of barriers and restrictions in realising their rights to full reproductive freedoms, particularly their right to found and raise a family. These economic, social and environmental barriers and restrictions are many, varied, and entrenched – yet remain largely ignored in Australian family related research, legislation, policies, and services.

WWDA’s Policy Paper includes a number of key recommendations to the Australian Government, in particular the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA), which is the Australian Government’s principal source of advice on social policy. Copyright WWDA May 2009.