Two children in Oregon are in the care of the state after social workers determined their parents’ IQ scores were simply too low to take care of their own children.
Amy Fabbrini and Eric Ziegler have their sons’ rooms set up for them to live in, yet the boys aren’t home. The Oregon state Department of Human Services (DHS) took the couple’s first son, Christopher, away from them shortly after birth. When their youngest son, Hunter, was born five months ago, the state took him away as well.
DHS claimed that confidentiality clauses wouldn’t allow any additional information on the couple, but a spokesperson indicated that “some” of the reasons the two boys were taken from the couple is found in court filings.
According to court documents, Ziegler scored a 66 on a state-required IQ test, while Fabbrini scored a 72. The Oregonian reports that since Fabbrini’s scores placed her at the “extremely low to borderline range of intelligence,” and Ziegler’s results placed him in the in the “mild range of intellectual disability,” their children were “at risk” in their care.
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Low IQ scores, however, may not be the only reason DHS intervened. There is a likely chance that other details were factored in, such as reports to DHS from Amy Fabbrini’s father, Raymond Fabbrini, 74.
“She doesn’t have the instincts to be a mother,” Fabbrini said, adding that along with his late wife, he took care of Amy’s two older twin boys she had with her ex-husband. The twins live with their father.
When Christopher was born, it came as a total surprise, not only to her family, but to Amy herself. She said she had no idea she was pregnant until she gave birth to the boy at Zieglers’s home. Amy indicated that she suffered from kidney pain in the past and she thought her pregnancy was kidney pain flaring up again.
“Here and there I have kidney issues so I just thought I was having kidney issues, that’s what I associated the pain with. I was trying to go to sleep and trying to get comfortable … and I felt this weird pain down there.”
When Christopher was born, Amy was living at home with her parents and her twin sons. Her father urged her to give the baby up for adoption, but ultimately, Eric Ziegler took the baby home with him. Within days, Amy’s father called DHS and expressed concerns.
Child welfare records provided to the The Oregonian by the couple read that Ziegler “has been sleeping with the baby on the floor and almost rolled over on him. There were also reports that Eric is easily frustrated and often forgets to feed his dog.”
Further, a MountainStar worker said that there were issues with the parents not telling Christopher to wash his hands after using the restroom and not applying sunblock to anywhere but his face before going in the sun.
Both Amy and Eric declared that they’ve done everything that the state has asked of them in order to get their children back, yet both children are still in foster care.
“We’ve just done everything and more than what they’ve asked us to,” said Fabbrini. “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.”
Sherrene Hagenbach, a a professional mediator and a board member of Healthy Families of the High Desert, vouched for the couple after spending time with them during visits with Christopher. She said the state agency told her they no longer required her services after she claimed the couple should be able to raise their children.
“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.”
Ziegler, a former carpet layer who now receives Social Security income, and Fabbrini, a grocery store clerk, are still fighting for custody of their children. Supporters create a GoFundMe fundraiser for the couple to help with them legal expenses in their “fight for justice.”
Check back with Crime Online as additional details become available.
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