Samantha's Law

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Samantha's Law is a Canadian child protection law. The life and circumstances surrounding Samantha Lauren Martin, a child with a rare chromosome disorder, Tetrasomy 18p, led her biological non-custodial mother, Velvet Martin, to challenge archaic laws inhibiting the rights of persons with disability and their families. On December 3, 2009, "Samantha's Law" was created. It is an amendment to the Alberta Family Support for Children with Disabilities Act, and became effective retroactive to December 2006.[1]


Samantha Martin was in the custody of the Canadian government. She lived in a foster care facility in Alberta, Canada. On December 3, 2006, Samantha died at age 13 while a patient at Stollery Children's Hospital.

Samantha's Law is an amendment to legislation which requires that participants in the Family Support for Children with Disabilities Program are recognized legally distinct from children in protective services under the intervention model. Government funding for services must be made available to families directly replacing requirement of guardianship relinquishment and out-of-home placement to achieve necessary medical supports.

Alberta Hansard - Legislative Assembly of Alberta (page 108) - March 10, 2014. Dr. Sherman: Mr. Speaker, it’s my pleasure to introduce to you and through you to all members of this Assembly Velvet Martin. Velvet’s daughter Samantha had a rare genetic disorder, and Alberta child services demanded that Samantha be placed in the foster system as the sole means of accessing medical care. Samantha had not been examined by a doctor for three years, got sick, and eventually died of a cardiac arrest. In the courts Velvet fought and won a publication ban of Samantha’s circumstances so she could again utter her daughter’s name in public. Her advocacy has resulted in Samantha’s law. Velvet is a champion for our children who desperately need help and care. I would ask Velvet to rise and receive the traditional warm welcome of the Assembly.

City of Edmonton Mayors Awards: Velvet Martin Samantha's Law. When Samantha Martin passed away due to a rare condition, Velvet Martin was inspired. She went on to advocate for families to gain access to appropriate services while caring for a child with developmental and medical conditions. Her personal tragedy has become a legacy of hope for future Alberta families. (City of Edmonton Mayors Awards: Velvet Martin Sam's Law)

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