Colin Farrell Files for Conservatorship of Teenage Son With Angelman Syndrome

·3 min read

Colin Farrell has filed for conservatorship of his 17-year-old son, James Farrell, who has been diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome.

According to the court petition obtained by E! News, Colin and model Kim Bordenave, who is James' mother, are requesting to be co-conservators of his person in a limited conservatorship. The legal arrangement allows the conservators to manage the personal needs, including medical decisions, of someone who is unable to care for themselves.

The petition, dated Monday, May 10, explains that James has Angelman Syndrome, described in the document as "a genetic disorder which causes developmental delays and disabilities and affects the nervous system." 

The Batman actor's legal team notes that 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."

Therefore, Colin and Kim are seeking the power to decide where James lives, access confidential records, withhold or grant marriage, withhold or grant medical consent, make decisions about his education and control his social or sexual relationships.

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Though the petition notes that James lacks the capacity to express his preference over who he would want to serve as his conservators, his parents "are sure" that if he "could voice his opinion over who he would want" for the role, he would choose his mom and dad.

The court hearing is scheduled for Sept. 27, per the citation obtained by E! News.

Colin Ferrell, Kim Bordenave
Colin Ferrell, Kim Bordenave

However, the teen's longtime doctor, Liliana Sloninsky, submitted a note that said it will be "difficult" for James to attend a court hearing, because features of his condition include "delayed development, intellectual disability, severe impairment and problem[s] with movement and balance." She wrote, "James is non-verbal, gets very anxious and losses [sic] his focus easily."

Colin has spoken about his son before, including recently at the 2020 Global Summit and Mini-Gala for the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST). The Irish star shared what it meant to him to see James take his first steps two weeks before his 4th birthday.

"I'll never forget them," he began. "A child taking their first steps is always such a profound experience. Parents are disgusted if they miss it... Tears can flow, and it's such a huge kind of profound moment in the development of a child's life and in the relationship between a child and the child's parents." 

Colin Ferrell
Colin Ferrell

Colin continued, "So when you're told your child might not walk and then your child does walk, two weeks short of his 4th birthday, the absence magnified the presence, when the presence arrived. And in the same way, the absence of certain abilities for our children… magnifies the need for us to all come together." 

He went on to describe why he's grateful to be involved with the FAST community, which he called a "beautiful place" to be a part of. "There is no us and them in our community. It's just us," he reflected.

Colin is also dad to Henry Tadeusz Farrell, 11, whom he welcomed with his girlfriendAlicja Bachleda in 2009.