REDMOND, OR (KTVZ/CNN) - When it comes to being a good parent, should a low IQ factor in?
Amy Fabbrini and Eric Zeigler say they lost custody of their two sons because of their mental limitations.
“They’re saying that because we have this disability that we can’t safely raise our child,” Fabbrini said.
According to court documents, limited cognitive abilities interfere with their ability to safely parent a child. Both the parents’ IQs hover around 70. The average is between 90 and 110.
“We personally think that IQ shouldn’t have anything to do with it, as long as you’ve got the qualities of being able to support for your child, being able to care for your child, ” Fabbrini said.
Four years ago, the Department of Human Services took their first child, Christopher, days after he was born.
“A friend that we had living with us made a report saying that supposedly Eric was neglecting Christopher, like not picking up on his cues,” Fabbrini said.
Sherrene Hagenbach, a former Child Protective Services volunteer who oversaw visits, is now fighting on the couple’s behalf.
“I never saw anything that was alarming to me at any point,” Hagenbach said.
In February, history repeated itself with the couple’s second son, Hunter. The DHS cannot comment on specific cases, but the department maintains that IQ alone cannot be the only factor for removing children.
Despite fulfilling requests to take parenting, CPR and nutrition classes and more, the couple has not been able to regain custody.
“They’re very proactive,” Hagenbach said. “They have done so much more than they have been asked to do.”
“It’s always one more thing,” Fabbrini said. “You complete one thing, they have you do something else.”
It could be a long road, but the couple has two reasons to not give up.