Colin Farrell has requested that the court grant him conservatorship of his 17-year-old son, James Farrell, who has been diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome.
Farrell and James' mother, Kim Bordenave, are seeking to be made co-conservators of his person in a limited conservatorship, according to a court petition obtained by E! News.
The document filed Monday describes Angelman Syndrome as "a genetic disorder which causes developmental delays and disabilities and affects the nervous system." Because of this, James "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."
The legal arrangement would allow the conservators to manage James' personal needs. If granted, Farrell and Bordenave would have the power to access confidential records, withhold or grant marriage, withhold or grant medical consent, make decisions about his education and where he lives, and control his social or sexual relationships, according to E! News.
The petition further states that, although James is unable to verbalize his preferences, his parents are "sure" that he would choose them if he "could voice his opinion over who he would want" as conservators.
A court hearing has been set for Sept. 27, but in a note submitted by James' doctor, Liliana Sloninsky, this may be "difficult" as the teen experiences "delayed development, intellectual disability, severe impairment and problem[s] with movement and balance."
As a result of his condition, "James is non-verbal, gets very anxious and losses [sic] his focus easily," she added.
Farrell has previously opened up about his son's disabilities and, in a 2012 interview, recalled how he "nearly broke in half" when James took his first steps.
"We share in the smallest victories; the first words at age 6 or 7, being able to feed oneself at 9, and getting the seizures under control," he said, according to ABC News. "When James took his first steps at age 4, I nearly broke in half!"
For the first few years of James' life, Farrell and Bordenave chose to keep their son's condition private. Colin later decided to go public about it.
"It was at the Special Olympics in Shanghai in 2007 that I decided, after consulting with James' mother, that I wanted to talk publicly about the pride and joy I had in our son," he said. "He has enriched my life, but I don't want to minimize the trials that so many families go through; the fear, consternation, frustration, and pain."
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