For nearly four years, a couple in Oregon has been fighting to prove that they are capable of raising their children. Both of their sons have been removed by the Department of Human Services, who said the parents are not intelligent enough to be good parents.
No abuse or neglect has ever been found in their case, according to Oregon Live, but both Amy Fabbrini, 31, and Eric Ziegler, 38, possess limited cognitive abilities. They lost custody of their children shortly after the boys were born. Their sons are now in foster care.
"I love kids, I was raised around kids, my mom was a preschool teacher for 20-plus years, and so I've always been around kids," Fabbrini said. "That's my passion. I love to do things with kids, and that's what I want to do in the future, something that has to do with kids."
According to Oregon Live, Department of Human Services is preparing to terminate the couple's parental rights. That means, the two children may soon be up for adoption.
Child welfare officials are unable to comment on the case because of confidentiality reasons. Though, according to documents provided by the couple, a test revealed that Fabbrini has an IQ of about 72. Ziegler has an IQ of 66. That means Fabbrini possesses an "extremely low to borderline range of intelligence," while Ziegler has a "mild range of intellectual disability."
According to a court appeal, the state put at least one of the sons in foster care because both parents had "limited cognitive abilities that interfere with (their) ability to safely parent the child."
"They are saying they are intellectually incapable without any guidelines to go by," said Sherrene Hagenbach, a former volunteer with the state agency. She oversaw visits with the couple and one of their sons last summer.
The parents said they've taken multiple classes on parenting since their children were taken away.
"We've just done everything and more than what they've asked us to," Fabbrini said.
Many people have fought alongside Fabbrini and Ziegler, advocating for them to get their kids back. Even a state legislator is helping them, according to Deseret News. However, Fabbrini's own father has argued against the couple, claiming Fabbrini "doesn't have the instincts to be a mother."
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