In what seems to be a bizarre state of events, a couple in Oregon are fighting to get back custody of their children who were forcibly taken from them by the Department of Human Services citing the parents’ insufficient IQ scores.
Amy Fabbrini and Eric Ziegler, as reported by the Oregonian, have been trying for the past four years to get back custody of their children by proving to the state that they are “intellectually capable of raising their children”.
The Oregonian further said that four months back, the couple’s second baby was taken from them “directly from the hospital”. The couple have another son, Christopher, who was also taken from the couple by the department shortly after his birth, which was approximately five years ago.
In spite of there being no evidence of child abuse found, the state child welfare agency simply terminated their parental rights and made both children available for adoption.
The court appeal documents say that both Amy and Eric have “limited cognitive abilities that interfere with (their) ability to safely parent the child”.
According to a former volunteer with the state agency:
They’re saying that this foster care provider is better for the child because she can provide more financially, provide better education, things like that…..If we’re going to get on that train, Bill Gates should take my children.
Whereas the average IQ scale of adults should be between 90 and 110, Eric and Amy’s were found to be 66 and 72, which are considered “extremely low to borderline range of intelligence”. In fact, Eric’s score suggests a “mild range of intellectual disability,” reports Oregonian.
The Oregonian further reported that an advocacy group for disability rights tried to pass legislation in 2013 that would have banned the state from declaring a parent unfit based on a parent’s intellectual disability. However, the bill did not pass the state House committee.