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Parents of vulnerable 18 year olds crowd fund challenge over law on deputyships

A group of parents has launched a crowdfunding campaign to try to change the law on protection by deputyship of young adults with learning difficulties.

Rosa Monckton, Simon Mottram and Caroline Hopton, who set up the page, have so far raised £25,685 towards their £30,000 target.

Their children have recently had their 18th birthdays and “we, as loving parents, no longer retained the legal right to make important decisions about their welfare”, the page says.

They seek a change in law to make it easier for parents to be granted a deputyship to deal with their children’s affairs under the Mental Capacity Act.

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Learning disabilities meant the children lacked the mental capacity to make important decisions for themselves and yet parents said they had lost the right they had when the children were minors to make such decisions for them.

“To be the decision-maker about our children's welfare, we must apply to the Court of Protection for deputyship, but this is only awarded in the most difficult cases,” they said.

“Without deputyship, we know from experience that important decisions about the welfare of our children are often made by other people, without our involvement or consent.”

This could see people who neither knew nor cared about them making decisions on the children’s behalf, they explained.

They want to take a test case, “with the explicit intention of getting a High Court judge to make a public judgement that will change the law in this area”.  

Campaigners said the Mental Capacity Act was unclear about when a deputy would be granted and the Code of Practice used refers only to “the most difficult cases".

The parents will argue that the courts should adopt a test “that flows directly from the Act and generally assume that it is in the dependent person's best interests to appoint a deputy from among his or her close family”.

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