IQ tests started initially as a set of scores that would be obtained from several different standardized tests psychologists subjected their patients to in an apparent attempt to measure their intelligence. They remained relatively confined to the medical sphere until sudden increased public interest during the 1970s.
With increased interest in the procedure, more and more members of the public since then have decided to take up the test…just to satisfy their curiosity mostly. IQ stands for Intelligence Quotient.
In Oregon, one of the most North Western states in this nation, to the South of Washington, the state government took children away from their parents after the former performed dismally on an IQ test.
Thirty-one-year-old Amy Fabbrini and her 38-year-old husband, Eric Ziegler had their children taken into foster care right after their youngest child was born in the local hospital. This was without any consent of theirs.
According to a local requirement, parents in the Beaver State are required to take an IQ test and prove to assessors that they are indeed smart enough to be caretakers of children. This in itself is a first in very many aspects and the likes of it have not been seen in the United States.
Owing to the fact that Ziegler scored a paltry 66 and his wife Fabbrini got barely higher than 72, the officials from the state office retained custody of their child from them – doubt of the constitutionality of the legislation notwithstanding.
While the average person scores between 90 and 110, these Oregonian parents were way below the standard. The unique legislation has inspired other states to begin plans of following in Oregon’s footsteps by checking parents’ IQ scores. However, there have been no studies establishing the direct correlation between scores obtained on IQ tests and the quality of parenting offered to a child.
Although there was no evidence of domestic abuse or child neglect in the household, the state found it reasonable to remove the two children from their embattled parents. Fabbrini and Ziegler have been granted visitation rights to the foster home but the state has deemed them ‘too stupid’ to be able to care for children.
I do not know how many parents can bear such an insult, but the Zieglers have been expected to understand such a humiliating move – almost with no firm counter action anticipated. More so, they both are residing under one roof invalidating any likelihood of custodial issues resulting from single parent arrangements.
Because of how the state took custody of their kids, the couple has begun a legal battle to get their children back. The state stands by their ruling that the parents, who are now the plaintiffs were, and still are not intelligent enough to give the youngsters a good life.
The state has adduced evidence to back up their decision. They pointed past occurrences to fortify the assessment summarized in their IQ tests. For example, it is alleged that Fabbrini had no idea she was pregnant until she was deep in the third trimester while pregnant with her first son, Christopher.
Quite obviously, this is a very astounding allegation because every adult knows what physical toll a pregnancy can have on a mother, let alone the fact that she must contend with the increasingly visible baby bump.
Surely, with all the mood swings, swollen feet, early morning nausea, random cravings among others, any expectant woman is assumed to know that she is baking a bun in the oven.
As for Fabbrini, the state further reveals the then heavily pregnant woman only received antenatal treatment at the ninth month. All the months prior, she had received no formal examination simply because she was ignorant of her pregnancy.
She eventually went into advanced labor at her family’s home and gave birth to her first child in late summer of 2013. It was on a Monday, the 9th of September to be exact.
Meanwhile, her partner, Eric had been taking home cheques from the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income program because he was diagnosed with a mental disability. He, therefore, could not find work. It was however not established whether his mental condition is curable or not.
Social Services took the parent’s children and sent them into foster care right after the couple’s second baby, Hunter was born.
A relative of the couple, now referenced as the ‘low-IQ couple’, complained to the authorities when they expressed concern that the first child, Christopher was not being cared for well. Child Welfare services came and found that the father, Ziegler had been ‘sleeping with the baby on the floor and almost rolled over on him’. Apparently then, they were worried that the mentally unwell dad might smother his infant.
It is further alleged that Fabbrini’s father, a one Raymond, and his wife have been forced to become the primary caregivers to their two grandchildren because their daughter failed to possess, as state documents show, ‘the instinct to be a mother.’
From the IQ tests, the state subjected the two parents to, Ziegler’s score put him in the mild ‘intellectual disability’ range while Fabbrini earned herself an ‘extremely low to a borderline range of intelligence’ in an entirely damming evaluation without any care for courtesy.
As Ziegler is unemployed, he lives off government benefits. Fabbrini, on the other hand, has a job as a grocery store employee. They, therefore, are a low-income household.
Sherrene Hagenbach is advocating for the couple as a board member of Healthy Families of the High Desert. She fears that putting the couple’s toddlers, Christopher and Hunter, up for adoption could be bad for the family.
The greatest concern is especially the fact that the children will grow farther and farther apart from their biological parents and grandparents.
“They are saying they are intellectually incapable without any guidelines to go by,” Ms. Hagenbach said with concern. “They are 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 are going to get on that train, Bill Gates should take my children. There is always somebody better than us, so it is a very dangerous position to be in,” Ms. Hagenbach further contends.
While indeed it might be true that having a family in which only one caregiver is gainfully employed puts an immense strain on the finances, it is also not sustainable to expect that richer folks will be taking care of the children of those of lesser means. In fact, it can only heighten class tensions, in a country where the income inequality is already known to be alarmingly high.
Do you think the state of Oregon should take children away from parents deemed to have low IQ?
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