Colin Farrell is proof that a parent will always put the needs of their children first.
"The Batman" actor has filed for conservatorship of his son, James Farrell, 17, who has Angelman Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder characterized by developmental delays, lack of speech, seizures and impaired balance.
According to a the court petition obtained by TODAY Parents, Farrell, 44, and James' mother, Kim Bordenave, 49, are requesting to be named co-conservators of a limited conservatorship as their son approaches age 18.
In California, where the petition was filed, a limited conservatorship grants conservators certain rights to care for another adult who has a developmental disability. Those decisions may include deciding where they will live, consent for medical treatments, giving or withholding consent for marriage, and control over the adult's social and sexual contacts and relationships.
Dated May 10, the petition notes that “the Proposed Limited Conservatee was diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome, a genetic disorder which causes developmental delays and disabilities and affects the nervous system. Because of the Proposed Limited Conservatee's condition, he is nonverbal and has issues with his fine motor skills, making him unable to properly care for his own physical health and well-being and requiring him to need assistance in preparing food, eating, bathing, and clothing himself.”
In a capacity declaration filed by Dr. Liliana Sloninsky, who has treated James since birth, she noted, "The features of this condition include delayed development, intellectual disability, severe impairment and problem with movement and balance. James is non-verbal, gets very anxious and losses [sic] his focus easily. Therefore, it will be difficult for James to attend a court hearing."
Farrell has been open about his son's diagnosis, which is often misdiagnosed as autism or cerebral palsy.
“The struggles of a child with special needs can be so brutal that they can tear at the very fabric of your heart, but the love shared and the pure strength and heroism observed is the needle and thread that mends all tears,” he said in a 2017 interview with TODAY.
“I would humbly say to parents of a child with a recent diagnosis of any disorder that while they may well be experiencing the death of one dream, that dream of having a healthy child, there are a thousand dreams and milestones that are yet to reveal themselves."
Farrell and Bordenave are scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 27 for a hearing to determine the status of their case.