A person with an intellectual or developmental disability may sometimes need a guardian in adulthood
In New York, some adults may therefore be provided with a guardian under Article 17A under the Surrogate's Court Procedure Act and some with a guardian under Article 81 of the New York State Mental Hygiene Laws.
Article 17-A was enacted to provide a way for the parents of a disabled child or minor to continue to make decisions for them once their child reaches adulthood. The powers and authority that a parent held before the age of majority were continued for the rest of their child’s life.
Article 81 was enacted to provide for persons who in their adulthood have lost or have a diminished “capacity” to care for themselves, and requires a determination of functional “incapacity," and other factors before a guardian can be appointed. The Article 81 statute provides for a much greater level of self-determination and autonomy for an individual than under Article 17A.
Project Guardianship provides services to clients under the Article 81 statute.