For many years, agencies, lawyers and schools have advised parents of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities to seek guardianship through New York Surrogate’s Court when their sons and daughters come of age. As guardians, parents and relatives obtain broad decision-making authority for disabled adults, including over their financial and health-care choices.
However, guardianship may not be right for everyone. Advocates and agencies that serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are promoting a concept called supported decision-making. Agreements are more tailored to individuals’ needs and take into account that they can make certain decisions themselves.