An Oregon couple has been fighting a legal battle after they lost custody of their two kids because both were labelled as not intelligent enough to care for them.
Amy Fabbrini, 31, was unaware about her state of pregnancy when she grew far into her third trimester with her now eldest son, Christopher.
Fabbrini did not receive formal examination or treatment within the ninth month term and went into advanced labor at the family’s home, where she gave birth Sept. 9, 2013.
Fabbrini’s partner, Eric Ziegler, 38, was receiving financial aid through the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income program on the behalf of a mental disability he was diagnosed with.
However, Social Services acquired and fostered the pair’s second newborn baby, Hunter, earlier this year, while he was in the hospital, after the past accusations brought against them.
A relative to the couple originally expressed concern in a complaint to authorities regarding the Christopher’s well-being under the care of Fabbrini and Ziegler, according to the Oregonian.
A child welfare report alleged Ziegler had been ‘sleeping with the baby on the floor and almost rolled over on him.’
Fabbrini’s father, Raymond, said he and his wife were acting as the primary caregivers at the time, because he believed his daughter did not possess the ‘instincts to be a mother.’
After taking a required IQ test, Ziegler scored a meager 66 and Fabbrini a 72. The IQ of the average person ranges anywhere from 90-110.
Ziegler’s IQ score categorized him under the mild ‘intellectual disability’ range, while Fabbrini ‘extremely low to borderline range of intelligence,’ according to the report.
Fabbrini had been working as a grocer to help provide for her family at the time. Ziegler was unemployed due to his health condition.
Board member of Healthy Families of the High Desert and advocator for the couple, Sherrene Hagenbach, said the decision to place Christopher and Hunter up for adoption lacks considerable ground work and may be even more unfavorable to the family as a whole.
‘They are saying they are intellectually incapable without any guidelines to go by,’ Hagenbach said.
‘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.’
Domestic abuse and neglect were not factors in the custody case.
Fabbrini’s aunt, Lenora Turner, told the Oregonian she believed the decision was unfair in the grand scheme.
‘I honestly don’t understand why they can’t have their children. I go to the grocery store and I see other people with their children and they’re standing up in the grocery cart.
‘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?’ Turner said.
Fabbrini and Ziegler claimed that they have complied with all of the state’s orders over the course of the past several years.
‘We’ve just done everything and more than what they’ve asked us to,’ Fabbrini said.
‘It doesn’t seem like it’s good enough for them … They’re saying, ‘Who would parent Christopher better, the foster parents or the parents?’ is basically what they’re going on.’ Ziegler added.
So long as Oregon’s parental rights law stays in effect, both children will remain under watch by foster care.
The parents will continue to have visitation rights under the supervision of another.