Judge: Oregon couple with lower IQs can parent their 2 kids
Jan. 12, 2018
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A judge has reunited an Oregon family despite concerns by the state that the parents are intellectually incapable of caring for their children.
Deschutes County Judge Bethany Flint determined Thursday that there wasn't enough evidence to show Amy Fabbrini and Eric Ziegler couldn't safely parent, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported .
The decision about the Redmond couple's 4-year-old son came three weeks after Flint ordered their 10-month-old son returned to them.
The children have spent almost all their lives in foster care. No abuse was alleged, but Fabbrini's family raised concerns to the Oregon Department of Human Services about the couple's parenting abilities.
Fabbrini's IQ has tested at 72, and Ziegler's at 66. The average IQ falls between 90 and 110.
Both have taken parenting, nutrition and CPR classes to try to prove to the state their ability to care for their kids.
"I think the system is broken. DHS has a lot of power, and it's really scary that it's taken these people four years to be heard," Fabbrini's lawyer, Jamie Gerlitz, told the newspaper. "I'm glad the case was successful, but it shouldn't have been this hard."
A review hearing will be held in two weeks. In the meantime, the couple can have unsupervised visits with their 4-year-old son while the state sets up a plan to gradually ease the child into his new home. He has lived with foster parents almost since birth.
The couple lives in a house purchased by Ziegler's out-of-state parents. He has a driver's license, a high school diploma and works in a mailroom. Fabbrini has a high school diploma and has previously worked as a grocery clerk.
Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com