Oregon Couple Who Had Kids Taken Away Over Their Low IQs Just Won Custody Back

An Oregon couple who had their kids taken away because they were deemed unfit to parent them due to their low IQs are getting their boys back four years later, The Oregonian reports.

On Thursday, a judge ruled that Amy Fabbrini and Eric Ziegler can parent both of their children.

The decision returns their 4-year-old son Christopher back to their home. Three weeks ago, the same judge ordered their 10-month-old son Hunter to be returned as well.

Both children have spent almost their entire lives in foster care after the state determined the couple was intellectually unfit to raise the kids even though no abuse or neglect had been alleged.

In court, the state argued that the couple’s IQs – Fabbrini’s is 72, Ziegler’s is 66 – is too low. The average IQ is between 90 and 110.

Via The Oregonian:

The couple lives in a home purchased by Ziegler’s out-of-state parents. He has a driver’s license, a high school diploma, and is now working nights in the mailroom of the Bend Bulletin. Fabbrini also has a high school diploma and has previously worked as a grocery clerk. Both have taken parenting, nutrition and CPR classes in attempts to prove their fitness to the state.

In court, an attorney for the Department of Human Services offered instances of the parents’ alleged deficiencies, including that they didn’t read to the children, forgot to put sunscreen on the baby, and brought fried chicken nuggets as a toddler snack when they should have chosen a healthier food.

Circuit Judge Bethany Flint determined there wasn’t enough evidence to show the couple couldn’t safely parent. Fabbrini’s attorney, Jamie Gerlitz, said Flint found a key witness for the state not credible, and Flint called omissions in the state’s timeline of events “suspicious.”

Judge Flint dismissed the state’s case regarding the couple’s 10-month-old last month and Thursday denied the state’s attempt to have the couple’s parental rights of Christopher terminated.

There will be a review hearing in two weeks, but the parents can visit Christopher while they wait to be reunited.