A heartbroken mother and father are not giving up on their battle with the state of Oregon to get their children back.
As KTVZ reports, Amy Fabbrini and Eric Ziegler lost custody of both of their sons. Christopher was taken from them four days after his birth, while his brother Hunter never even got to go home — he was removed directly from the hospital when he was born.Screenshot/KTVZ
The couple hasn’t been accused of abusing their children, though. Instead, they have been told they are not intelligent enough to raise them.
Court documents name the mother and father’s “limited cognitive abilities” as the reason they are not capable of raising their sons safely.
An average IQ is considered to be between 90 and 110 — both of the parents scored around 70 on the chart.Screenshot/KTVZ
Fabbrini explained why the number shouldn’t matter:
“We personally think that IQ shouldn’t have anything to do with it. As long as you have the abilities of being able to support for your child, being able to care for your child.”
The Department of Human Services feels differently about Fabbrini and Ziegler’s ability to care for their children, however. The devastated mother said:
“They’re thinking that because we have this disability, we can’t safely parent our children.”
The trouble began when a family friend, who was living with the couple, reported Fabbrini and Ziegler’s skills. Following the report, an investigation into the couple ensued.Screenshot/KTVZ
Former Child Protective Services volunteer Sherrene Hagenbach worked with the family and oversaw visits with their kids. She is fighting to help reunite the family:
“I never saw anything that was alarming to me, at any point. They’re very proactive. They have done so much more than what they have been asked to do.”
But another worker had a different view of the parents. They claimed that Ziegler needed to be reminded to wash his hands after using the toilet and needed to be told to apply sunscreen to the rest of his body, not just his face.
According to Oregon Live, Fabbrini’s father, Raymond Fabbrini, agrees with the state and thinks the boys should stay in state custody.Screenshot/KTVZ
“She [Fabbrini] doesn’t have the instincts to be a mother.”
He added that she had been responsible for raising Amy’s other children — twins — who are now living with their father, her ex-husband. When Christopher was born, he urged his daughter to put him up for adoption.
The parents are not giving up on getting their children back. They have taken parenting, CPR, and nutrition classes to show they are ready to raise their kids. But that still hasn’t been enough, according to Fabbrini:
“It’s always one more thing, one more thing. You complete something, they have you do something else.”
Hagenbach is determined to prove they are ready.Screenshot/KTVZ
He wants their kids to be at home with their mom and dad — where he believes they belong:
“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. There’s always somebody better than us, so it’s a very dangerous position to be in.”
A spokesperson for the state said they are unable to comment on the matter, but that “IQ alone cannot be the only factor for removing children from a home.”