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Marriage of young disabled woman prohibited by authorities

Posted 18/9-09 at 00.56

Kerry Robertson, who is 17 and has learning difficulties, has been prohibited by social workers from marrying her fiancé.

Two days before they were to be married, Kerry, who is five months pregnant, and her husband to be, Mark McDougall, were told by officials that the ceremony could not go ahead because "she did not understand the implications of getting married".

A registrar in Scotland can refuse to perform a marriage if he or she believes that either of the parties does not have the mental capacity to understand what marriage entails.

The decision has devastated the two young people, who are also concerned that their unborn baby may be taken away from them.

Kerry now faces the further indignity of having to undergo a psychological examination to determine whether she is intelligent enough to get married.

What has happened to Kerry and Mark is in clear contravention of Article 23 of the CRPD that states, "States Parties shall take effective and appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against persons with disabilities in all matters relating to marriage, family, parenthood and relationships, on equal basis with others...".

For a full report see: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1212867/Youre-intelligent-marry-bride-told.html#ixzz0R6XAXXIi




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Comment added 23/9-09 at 19.32 by: Molly Barrett (mollybarrett@paston.co.uk)

I too fear for their unborn baby. This could be construed as an attempt to coerce such a couple into either having an abortion or putting the baby up for adoption. Such a thing happens to people far less vulnerable than this young couple. I do hope their youth and optimism will carry them through, but they need to muster all their friends and all their determination. May I suggest they hold a 'handfasting' ceremony instead? It may not have the advantage of a legal process (though I'm told it may have legal status in Scotland?), but it is a clear indication of their commitment to each other.

Comment added 20/9-09 at 18.02 by: H Braynt (hbmail@gmail.com)

What a national disgrace! If she can cope with a baby she can cope with being married.

May I suggest Gretna Green for the lovers?

Good luck to them both.

Comment added 18/9-09 at 09.07 by: John Rushton (john.rushton@sparkie.co.uk)

What has this country come to??? Maybe we should stop all disabled people getting married? Most people think all disabled people are mentally retarded, this is totally WRONG!!! what about all the people that that become disabled due to accidents? Isn't this what the disability discrimination act was created for? This couple are only trying to do the right thing by getting married before their baby is born, that should be proof alone that Kerry is mentally competent?

If you want to take it to the limit where were social services when Kerry get pregnant? Seems to me they are trying to do the usual cop out by shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted!!

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