A judge in California is expected to issue a tentative ruling today on whether Abbie Dorn has a constitutional right to see her kids.
Dorne, 34, suffered brain damage following the birth of her triplets in 2006 and can no longer eat, speak or move. Her parents say she has a right to see her young children regularly, but the children’s father, Dan Dorn, who has been raising them as a single parent since they were born, argues that visits with their mom could traumatize them.
The attorney representing Abbie says there’s no evidence to support visits with their mom will harm the children. However, Dan’s lawyer said constitutional visitation rights are reserved for “fit” parents only.
Abbie’s parents have argued that a mother needs to see her children, and that the children need to know they have a mom.
Besides four days last December, Abbie has not seen her kids for more than three years.
Soon after the birthing disaster — a series of mistakes by her doctors while delivering the triplets — that lead to Abbie’s current condition, her husband visited her regularly with the children, but the visits became less frequent and he divorced her in 2007. She now lives with her parents and requires 24-hour care.
But while Dan’s lawyers’ medical experts said she would never recover, her parents say Abbie has brain function, can comprehend what people say to her and frequently responds to direct questions by saying “yeah” or “no,” and even blinks her eyes to indicate “yes.”
“If all she can say to them is one or two words and show in her eyes how much she loves them,” her mother said to ABC News, “I think that will mean a great deal to those children.”
If there’s even a chance that Abbie has a functioning brain, which it sounds like she just might, keeping her kids from her seems beyond cruel. While I applaud the dad in theory for looking out for the best interest of his kids, he could talk to the triplets about what happened to their mom and explain what’s wrong with her so that spending some time with her won’t harm them emotionally. No mom deserves what happened to Abbie, and to prevent her from seeing her kids is like a final knife to her already broken heart.
No matter which way the judge decides, it seems it would be hard for this case to be much sadder or more tragic.
Do you think Abbie has a right to visit with her kids?
UPDATE: The judge has issued a ruling. Click here to read about the outcome.