Colin Farrell has filed for conservatorship of his teenage son James.
The Irish actor’s eldest child, 17, suffers with Angelman Syndrome – a genetic disorder that causes developmental delays and disabilities and affects the nervous system.
Colin and his ex Kim Bordenave, who is James’ mother, are requesting to be co-conservators of his person in a limited conservatorship – according to a court petition obtained by E! News.
The legal arrangement permits the conservators to manage the personal needs, including medical decisions, of someone who is unable to care for themselves.
The petition, dated May 10, explains 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.”
The conservatorship would give Colin and Kim the power to decide where James lives, make decisions about his education, access confidential records, withhold or grant marriage, withhold or grant medical consent and control his social or sexual relationships.
The petition notes that while James is unable to express his preference over who he would like 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 them.
The court hearing is scheduled for September 27, with James’ longtime doctor Liliana Sloninsky noting that it would be “difficult” for the teen to attend the hearing.
She explained: “James is non-verbal, gets very anxious and loses his focus easily,” adding that his condition means he has “delayed development, intellectual disability, severe impairment and problem[s] with movement and balance.”
Colin opened up about his son’s condition at the 2020 Global Summit and Mini-Gala for the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics.
Recalling James’ first steps at the age of three, the 44-year-old said: “I’ll never forget them. 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.”
“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 added.
Colin is also father to an 11-year-old son named Henry Tadeusz Farrell, who he welcomed with his girlfriend Alicja Bachleda in 2009.