108 Iowa L. Rev. 1475 (2023)



People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (“IDD”) are subjected to strict control through guardianship arrangements. While guardianships are meant to protect people with IDD, they often strip people of self-determination and freedom. In recent years, neuroscience and the neurodiversity movement have redefined our understandings of decision-making capacity, but the law has failed to adopt these advances to the detriment of the disabled. This failure to allow choice and liberty is particularly clear when people with IDD wish to get married or engage in romantic or sexual relationships. This denial of true marriage equality and choice for people with IDD is devoid of scientific understanding and fundamentally discriminatory. States can rectify their antiquated guardianship laws by adopting a supported-decision-making (“SDM”) model that provides assistance in decision-making when needed for romantic relationships and marriage decisions, while continuing to maintain the choice, liberty, and dignity of a person with IDD.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023