REDMOND, Ore. - A Redmond couple is making headlines after they claim to have lost custody of their two sons because of their low intelligence.
Amy Fabbrini and Eric Ziegler have been fighting the state for several years, hoping to prove they are capable of raising their children.
“They’re thinking that because we have this disability, we can’t safely parent our children,” Fabbrini said Thursday.
According to court documents, their “limited cognitive abilities” interfere with their capability to safely parent a child. Both of their IQs hover around 70. The average IQ is considered between 90 and 110.
“We personally think that IQ shouldn’t have anything to do with it," Fabbrini said. "As long as you have the abilities of being able to support for your child, being able to care for your child.”
About four years ago, the state Department of Human Services took their first son, Christopher, four days after he was born.
“(A) friend that we had living with us made a report saying, 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,” she said.
In February, history repeated itself when their second son, Hunter, was also taken by the state before even going home from the hospital.
The DHS said it cannot comment on specific cases, but that IQ alone cannot be the only factor for removing children from a home.
However, despite fulfilling requests to take parenting, CPR, nutrition classes and more, they have not been able to regain custody of their children.
“They’re very proactive.” Hagenbach said of the parents. “They have done so much more than what they have been asked to do.”
Fabbrini said, “It’s always one more thing, one more thing. You complete something, they have you do something else."
The couple said it could still be a long road, but they won’t give up until they get their children back.
“Yes, it has been a struggle.” Fabbrini said. “It has been stressful, but in the long run, it will be worth it for our kids.”