FASD & the Justice System

RM (Re), 2007 YKTC 10 (Ruddy J.):  

Permanent care order sought for five children – both parents with FASD – father concedes unable to raise children but seeking ongoing reasonable access – mother seeking custody, says can parent with appropriate supports – no issue of substance abuse, neglect, violence or inconsistency – children with developmental potential far beyond that of parents – parents open to assistance and support – diligent about exercising access – parents are vulnerable to other family members – daily intervention would be required – with great deal of external prompting and support parents could meet basic phsycial needs, but unable to understand let alone meet the more abstract intellectual, emotional and developmental needs of children – uncertain whether would be able to access these supports when needed – oldest child in particular has thrived in foster care – permanent care and custody order granted – access ordered, critical in this case – access positive for children – access at discretion of director, but access cannot be unreasonably withheld