INDIANAPOLIS – On Monday Senate Bill (SB) 259, authored by State Senator David Niezgodski (D-South Bend), was unanimously approved out of the Senate. The bill sets a precedent of prioritizing family and children by making it state policy to recognize the parenting rights of every parent, including those with disabilities.

Sen. Niezgodski had the following response on the approval of his bill:

“I’m grateful for the overwhelming support SB 259 received in session today,” Sen. Niezgodski said. “This is a win for Hoosier families and I’m glad my colleagues recognized the importance of this proposal, as well. I think advancing bills like this demonstrates Indiana’s commitment to pairing children in need of homes with good loving families.”

SB 259 provides that individuals cannot be denied parenting rights, such as foster care, custody and adoption, due to a disability. These procedures would be ensured by the Department of Child Services.

“It’s so important that our state recognizes that parents with disabilities are hard-working members in our communities and are more than capable guardians,” Sen. Niezgodski stated. “This bill is simple, common sense legislation and reinforces a culture of acceptance and understanding in our great state. SB 259 is a step forward in guaranteeing equality for Hoosier parents with disabilities.”

SB 259 will now advance to the House of Representatives for further deliberation.