Losing my case in the District Court of Reykjavík – but not losing my story

On the 6th of June I lost my case against the Government Agency for Child Protection in the District Court of Reykjavik. The court ruled that the Government Agency for Child Protection had followed all the right procedures in my application process and that I had not been discriminated against.

According to Icelandic regulations you are supposed go through further assessment by the Government Agency for Child Protection and taking a course called Foster Pride when the local authorities have accepted your application (which they did in my case). The further assessment process was denied in before hand and my application was denied on the grounds that my health is assumed not to be good enough, that due to my disability I would not be able to secure a strong attachment with a child and that my home is like an institution because I have personal assistance. This has now been confirmed by The District Court of Reykjavík.

I’m still processing the outcome while being completely exhausted and of course in a lot of pain. I have four weeks to decide whether I should take the case to higher levels of the courts. I’m thinking it through and looking at my options.

This was an extremely sad day for justice in Iceland. A sad day for disabled people. A sad day for disabled women. A sad day for disabled parents. A sad day for foster children and of course for myself. In a country where the CRPD has been signed and ratified, a country that is known for it’s strong feminist grounds and a country that could in so many ways be in a leading role of disability justice, it’s mortifying that it does not have the guts to respect and act on the right of disabled women to a due process on all levels and protect us from being judged solely on how our bodies move around, look and live. It is also outrageous that a few weeks after the Icelandic Parliament legalizes personal assistance for disabled people the district court of Reykjavík decides that a parent who is a user of those services is unable to provide a child stability and develop a bond with a child. And this is done without any proof whatsoever.

Even though I’m shattered I refuse to take the shame of the court system in Iceland. The story about me and other disabled women they are trying to tell is invalid. This is and will not be our story. I sincerely hope that disabled women and disabled mothers in Iceland, and elsewhere, can gather energy to resist this misrepresentation and reclaim our strong and powerful stories. I also hope that the disability community, feminist and queer movements will show solidarity. Because we need each other.

Dear friends and comrades all over the world. Thank you for your support and solidarity, advise and kindness. It’s meaningful beyond words.

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