In this Global story from last September, the reporter describes a court decision to refuse to allow Karim Lakhani to bring his son to Disneyland.
With a love of travelling, Lakhani’s dream has been to take his son to Disneyland. In June, a family court judge agreed Lakhani could take his son on the trip. But there was a condition – one that Lakhani was unaware of.
At the time, two adult family friends, who live in California, were going to meet with Lakhani and his son at Disneyland. However, these friends have since changed their plans, prompting Lakhani’s ex-wife to go back to court. She says Lakhani cannot properly protect their son at the amusement park without his sight.
This is the first time his blindness has been an issue when caring for their son.
The judge ruled that Lakhani can only take his son to Disneyland if someone of sight accompanied him.
Recently, there was an update to the story.
Karim has been given permission to take his son to Vancouver to visit family.
Many Global viewers came forward after hearing the story, offering to accompany the pair to Disneyland so they could make the trip. On February 15th, Karim went back to court and achieved a small victory. He gained permission to take his son to Vancouver to visit his sister.
“I just have to make sure I give them the details of where I am going to stay and who is picking me up. It’s not Disneyland but it’s a step towards it maybe”
Karim hopes the upcomming trip will prove that he is suitable to travel alone with his son…not just to Vancouver, but elsewhere, including Disneyland. He will continue to fight until he achieves his goal of taking his son on their dream trip.
This is a disturbing and, unfortunately, far too common story. It was only last summer that a blind couple was reunited with their baby after nearly 60 days of separation. The state took the two-day old infant into protective custody because her parents were blind.
This story will of course also be familiar to those interested in the history of eugenics since, along with the claim that “undesirable” traits were heritable, the belief that disabled people could not parent was the most commonly offered justification for sexual sterilization and segregation.
Karim’s story strikes me as a clear example of how far we still need to go towards eliminating discriminatory attitudes about disabled people.