Family loses bid for foster care due to high risk of infection.

  • Published 1999 in AIDS policy & law


A Federal judge in Pennsylvania has ruled that it was objectively reasonable to deny placing a foster child in a family with an HIV-infected member, saying the risk of HIV transmission was too high. This is the first time the "direct threat" exclusion has been applied to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Rehabilitation Act in the context of foster care placement. The plaintiffs had raised several foster care children and had adopted one with AIDS. The county suspended processing of the couple's foster care application after learning of the child with AIDS. The couple sued, first claiming racial discrimination, and then claiming ADA protection. The U.S. District Judge dismissed the race based claims and used statistics supplied by the Children and Youth Services office as a basis to deny the application. The judge determined the child's HIV infection posed a "direct threat" because of the high incidence of sexual abuse among children supervised by the agency. A sidebar contains additional statements from the plaintiffs' attorney.

Cite this paper

@article{1999FamilyLB, title={Family loses bid for foster care due to high risk of infection.}, author={}, journal={AIDS policy & law}, year={1999}, volume={14 18}, pages={6-7} }