Amy Fabbrini, 31, and Eric Ziegler, 38, want their children back. Picture: The Oregonian/YouTubeSource:Supplied
Amy Fabbrini, 31, and Eric Ziegler, 38, want their children back. Picture: The Oregonian/YouTubeSource:Supplied

Parents have kids taken from them because of their low IQs

A US couple claims the state took away their two young sons because of their low IQ but now they are fighting back.

Amy Fabbrini, 31, and Eric Ziegler, 38, lost custody of their first child, Christopher, about four years ago shortly after he was born.

Fabbrini, 31, told News Channel 21 that Christopher was removed from their home because a friend accused Mr Ziegler of neglect and "not picking up on (the baby's) cues."

Then, five months ago, social services took the couple's second son, Hunter, who had just been born.

According to documents provided by the couple, psychological evaluations tested Ms Fabbrini's IQ at about 72, placing her in the "extremely low to borderline range of intelligence," and Mr Ziegler's about 66, placing him in the "mild range of intellectual disability."

The average IQ is between 90 and 110.

"They are saying they are intellectually incapable without any guidelines to go by," said Sherrene Hagenbach, a former volunteer with the state agency who oversaw visits with the couple and Christopher from last June through August.

"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," Ms Hagenbach told the Oregonian. "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."

Ms Fabbrini had already been given custody of twins she had from a past relationship when she became pregnant with Christopher. However, she didn't know that she was pregnant until she was nine months along, something the state is using against her.

Her father, Raymond Fabbrini, 74, has refused to support his daughter, saying "she doesn't have the instincts to be a mother."

He said his wife was providing most of the parenting for the twins but she died of Alzheimer's a week before Christopher was born.

So he contacted social services.

The couple said they've taken classes on parenting, first aid, CPR and nutrition in a bid to get their children back.

"We've just done everything and more than what they've asked us to," Ms Fabbrini said.

"It doesn't seem like it's good enough for them," Ziegler added. "They're saying, 'Who would parent Christopher better, the foster parents or the parents?' is basically what they're going on."

Ms Fabbrini's aunt, Lenora Turner, is a chaperone for the couple's visits with Hunter.

"I would describe her (Fabbrini) as a strong person, because she's going through all this and most of the family turned their back on her," Ms Turner said. "She is a strong young lady, determined, and I've always seen that in her.

When she had something in mind she was determined to make it happen."

She says Ms Fabbrini and Mr Ziegler have loving visits with Hunter.

"I honestly don't understand why they can't have their children," Ms Turner said. "I go to the grocery store and I see other people with their children and they're standing up in the grocery cart ... and I think, how come they get to keep their children? How do they decide whose child they're going to take and whose child can stay?"

News Corp Australia

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