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The Government Thinks This Couple Isn't Smart Enough to Be Parents, So It Took Their Kids Away

They're not alone. Normal parenting mistakes can be used against people with disabilities.

Ziegler and FabbriniOregonian VideoEric Ziegler, 38, didn't do a good enough job teaching his son Christopher to wash his hands after going to the bathroom. So the State of Oregon put the boy in foster care.

That's not the only reason the government intervened. But a lengthy story by Samantha Swindler in The Oregonian doesn't shy away from the awful, outrage-inducing truth: The state has taken a couple's children away not because they're abusing or neglecting the kids but because it thinks the parents aren't smart enough to raise them properly.

Ziegler and his partner, Amy Fabbrini, both have below-average IQs—72 and 66, respectively—according to documents provided to The Oregonian. After Christopher was born in 2013, other family members (most significantly, Fabbrini's father, who has a troubled relationship with her) started warning the state's child welfare agency that there were problems.

When the state Department of Human Services began investigating, it found no signs of abuse. But they did find representations of the struggles and frustrations of people with learning disabilities attempting to be parents:

In reports of concerns about the couple's parenting skills, a MountainStar [a nonprofit Oregon group devoted to helping prevent child abuse] worker recalled having to prompt them to have Christopher wash his hands after using the toilet and to apply sunscreen to all of his skin rather than just his face. Fabbrini and Ziegler's attorneys argue these weren't sufficient reasons to keep them from their son.

This year the couple had a second son, Hunter. The state also took custody of him. This time they didn't even wait to see how they'd behave as parents: Fabbrini was still in the hospital when they took the boy.

Oregon's justification for taking Christopher and Hunter away: "limited cognitive abilities that interfere with [their] ability to safely parent the child." In other words, the government declared them too dumb to be parents.

Meanwhile, Swindler's reporting describes Ziegler and Fabbrini's hard work in improving their parenting skills. It quotes other experts who are helping them and who believe the couple is capable of raising children. One volunteer mediator said she told caseworkers that she believed the couple was capable of raising Christopher. Her conclusion conflicted with the position taken by officials, and subsequently, she says, they told her that her services were "no longer needed."

America, sadly, has a lengthy history of using state power to interfere in intellectually disabled people's lives. What happened to this couple isn't as bad as what might have happened to them a century ago, where people with low IQs were often forcibly sterilized. Today Fabbrini and Ziegler's boys are hardly the only children to have been taken by the government because their parents have learning disabilities. Or any disabilities, honestly. According to the National Council of Disabilities, in 35 states it is perfectly legal to use a disability as a reason to terminate an adult's parental rights. The council calculates that between 40 and 80 percent of parents with intellectual disabilities have faced having their children removed. (They don't have more precise numbers because of a lack of research data.)

One expert quoted in The Oregonian noted that IQ doesn't really correlate with parenting problems until it drops below 50. And yet parents are losing custody of their children over fears of what might happen.

Culturally, we're well into an era where governments punish parents based on fears that are completely removed from accurate risk assessments. Reason's Lenore Skenazy regularly documents the brutal, punitive results of this mentality. Parents are abused by the state and their neighbors for the slightest of slip-ups or for misplaced fears of unlikely harms. For those with any sort of disability, intellectual or physical, these slip-ups can also be used to justify breaking their family apart.

The Oregonian also provided a short video about the family's struggles. Watch below:

Photo Credit: Family video

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  • notJoe||

    One expert quoted in The Oregonian noted that IQ doesn't really correlate with parenting problems until it drops below 50.

    No kidding. I have a 135 IQ and I'm a lousy parent...

  • Crusty Juggler :)||

    I have a 187 IQ and I am the bestest parent ever.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    He dropped it almost immediately. Twice.

  • Hugh Akston||

    These euphemisms are getting kind of gross

  • MarkLastname||

    Impossible. People with IQs above 160 don't reproduce. It is known.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Eric Ziegler, 38, didn't do a good enough job teaching his son Christopher to wash his hands after going to the bathroom. So the State of Oregon put the boy in foster care.

    Jesus fuck. My first thought was, plenty of the attorneys i work with don't wash their hands before they leave the restroom. My second thought was, that might be a bad example.

    Oregon CPS isn't considering the consequences of their actions. If you don't let dumb people raise their kids to also be dumb, where are you going to get the next generation of CPS employees?

  • Zeb||

    I thought CPS employees had to go to special schools to get as dumb as they are.

  • Longtobefree||

    Their health care plan covers the first two lobotomy operations.

  • DaveSs||

    My first thought was, plenty of the attorneys i work with don't wash their hands before they leave the restroom

    The other one I don't get (it was usually the management types) is dropping their pants all the way to the floor while they are sitting on the crapper.

    Some dude before you almost certainly pissed all over the floor where your pants are laying.

    I just don't get how people who otherwise take the time to be well groomed will neglect to wash their hands, or allow their garments to come in contact with a bathroom floor.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Maybe it's a power move, showing that they don't give a fuck?

    I don't really care, as long as they're not dropping their pants to the floor while they're at the urinal.

  • Ride 'Em||

    Or progressives, or Bernie supporters, or Trump supporters, or ....

  • adampeart||

    Oregon prefers average molestable foster kids rather than dumb loved kids. It's true, just ask Seattle mayor Ed Murray.

  • Devastator||

    ummm Seattle isn't in Oregon... so i'm not sure what your point is.

  • Threedoor||

    It's where he lived and raped foster kids.

  • BambiB||

    I was thinking, "Three generations of imbeciles are enough" ( Buck v. Bell)

    Of course, we don't run into that problem as often if we get rid of welfare.

    At least half of intelligence is genetic. So when welfare programs subsidize the mass breeding of morons, we get more... morons. Is the species already de-evolving? In the end, I don't think Darwin will be denied. The massive amounts of money we spend to subsidize the idiot class will eventually break the system. When the system breaks, the unrelenting propagation of idiots will abate.

    The government should leave the parents alone. Don't harass them. Don't support them. If their offspring perishes, it should not overly concern us.

  • Gorgegirl||

    There is a lot more to this story than appears in this article. This woman didn't even know she was pregnant and when she had stomach pains, she delivered the baby at home - not even knowing she was going to have a baby. Furthermore, she also has a set of twins that are being raised by her father.

    Get all the facts.

  • MichaelL||

    A women her size can easily have an undetected pregnancy. I know a woman who bled almost six months into her uneventful pregnancy. I also was involved with the delivery of a child to an obese woman, hours after she was discovered to be pregnant. She and her husband, who had been having fertility problems, were elated!

  • Crusty Juggler :)||

    I once caught my seven-year-old niece - the daughter of a high-level executive for a S&P 100 company, and the daughter of a construction project manager - washing her hands in the toilet.

    I somehow managed not to call CPS.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    God damn it, Crusty.

  • ||

    Yeah - the most wayward kid I ever knew was the son of a high-level engineer who worked on the space shuttle.

  • Zeb||

    How many kids do you suppose wash their hands after using the toilet, even if they are instructed to do so by their parents? How many kids are significantly injured by their failure to wash their hands?

    And is there anything more adorable than two borderline retarded people in love?

    I'm sure some people's disabilities make them unfit parents. But show some actual harm is being done before taking the drastic action of taking people's kids from them.

  • Shirley Knott||

    This. At the very least, this.

  • DaveSs||

    Having a 4 year old, pretty much every bathroom trip needs a reminder.

    Kids get distracted easily by the things they really want to do that they frequently forget to do the things they need to do.

    Its normal

  • ||

    Having a nine-year-old, don't expect that to stop any time soon.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    It gets a little better at around age 12... for six months, and then they get all surly and teenage-y and refuse to wake up on time for anything in the goddamn morning.

  • Qsl||

    Actually volunteered in a group home that taught retarded people life skills (why progressive Oregon hasn't thought of this is beyond me).

    Anyway except for the fact the mother would forget to turn the stove off and other assorted SNAFUS, there was no doubt in my mind that her child was one of the god damn luckiest people on the planet. That child was ADORED. Any limitations by her (and her husband's) mental capacity were more than offset by their desire to be the best parents they could.

    Taking the children away is the absolute best Oregon could do?

  • Gorgegirl||

    Most parents with a reasonable IQ know when to change the baby's diaper or feed it when it is hungry. I would think people would see this is a need for this child as well as the other children this woman has had that are not addressed in this article. Thankfully, the twins are being cared for by others.

    There is a lot more to this story. How can one expect this couple to train their child to use the potty if they themselves can't even determine when the diaper needs to be changed in the first place?

    It is time to put the children's care ahead of any hope that these two low iQ people can do what is right as parents. After all, parenting is teaching their children to more than just washing their hands.

  • Qsl||

    Fine, but be equal across the board with that.

    People who lock their kids in a hot car; get their IQ scores and set the bar accordingly. Kids don't reach a benchmark for potty training or washing hands, get CPS involved. Pretty soon nobody will be having kids.

    I see no reason why retards should be under increased scrutiny for dumb mistakes compared to the rest of the population.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Obviously CPS is going to pick on retarded people. Every other sociopath does. They are easy targets. Much, much easier than an intelligent child abuser. Sad.

  • Shirley Knott||

    And this. This is the pointless infliction of cruelty and heartache on the especially defenseless.
    Can IFJ or Lenore's outfit or any of our other folk do anything here?

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Same reason cops would rather steal cash and cars form tourists than actual dangerous drug dealers, or shut down kid lemonade stands and lawn mowers instead of corner drug dealers.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Kids get taken away every day in this country. Why should these two people get special treatment just because they're developmentally delayed?

  • Shirley Knott||

    They shouldn't. I don't see anyone suggesting that they should. It is still possible to see this as an especially egregious offense against human dignity and freedom and to feel moved to want to offer some degree of empathy or help.

    It's never a good thing when children are taken away from their parents. It may, on rare occasions, be better than the alternative, but CPS/FCS/whoever are the least likely to this well or in ways that work out well for any concerned.

    Yet I refuse to be uncaring in one case simply because there are too, too many cases about which I not only can do nothing but of which I am also unaware in the specifics.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I won't dignify this with a response. Other than this one.

  • King's Ransom||

    I wish you would have

  • BambiB||

    A few years back the true nature of CPS in Florida was in the limelight. Seems a young girl in their "care" turned up dead... in Louisiana (IIRC). The mystery was how she wound up dead THERE when CPS was monitoring her HERE, in Florida. Subsequent investigation showed that Florida CPS had "lost" over 400 children - kids they said they were monitoring - but which they could not find.

    The cherry on the top of this shit-sundae was the CPS worker who was found sitting in her car in the middle of the road, engine running, passed out dead drunk with a confiscated toddler strapped in the back.

    http://content.time.com/time/m.....31,00.html
    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sf.....llery.html

  • MarkLastname||

    Florida CPS sounds like great fodder for a dark sitcom.

  • XenoZooValentine||

    CPS declined to comment on the average IQ of social workers.

  • notJoe||

    I'll just leave this here:

    http://www.statisticbrain.com/.....ege-major/

    Scroll waaaaay down.

  • Necron 99||

    Bless you, that is gold!

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Ah philosophy. Even having the second highest average IQ doesn't save you from Starbucks.

  • Bubba Jones||

    They tend to go to law school.

  • Longtobefree||

    Because they are incapable of calculating an average.

  • mashed potatoes||

    Oregon the progessive bastion... i assume this is just a step towards returning to the early 20th century progressive glory and sterilization of the unfit.

  • Hugh Akston||

    This time with a twee acoustic indiefolk theme song!

  • ||

    Sadly I know a number of progressives who do truly believe that the government should be authorized to issue parenting licenses without which you should not have the right to reproduce.

  • BYODB||

    Well, yeah, it's been a progressive tenant for almost 100 years. Why stop now?

  • Zeb||

    progressive tenant

    I believe the word you want there is "tenet".

  • BYODB||

    You are correct. I put way too much faith in spell check. ^_^

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Nah, it got in under rent-control and hasn't left since. Can't get rid of them.

  • MarkLastname||

    I believe he was going for 'ten inch', though I'd dispute the claim that Woodrow Wilson was so well-endowed.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    If only that eugenics thing had worked out we wouldn't have these problems.

  • Johnimo||

    "Oregon the progessive bastion... i assume this is just a step towards returning to the early 20th century progressive glory and sterilization of the unfit."

    No. That was an outdated modality that failed to understand you need to provide lots of children for the State to care for. Sterilization does not result in the hiring of nearly enough government bureaucrats and do-gooders.

  • Curt||

    In other news, 75% of Alabama's population under the age of 18 are now wards of the state.

  • Curt||

    Seriously though... imagine the fallout if various governments took control of all the children born to stupid parents. The cost would be absolutely unimaginable. It would probably be much cheaper, smarter, and better in the long run to simply exercise some control over who is allowed to reproduce. We could sterilize the dump people. Promote the reproduction of smart people.

    If only there was a name for this awesome idea.

  • Curt||

    * dumb not dump.

    Hopefully we're not gonna sterilize people who make stupid typos.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    First they came for the dump people. And I said nothing, for I had no dump...

    This is how it starts.

  • Longtobefree||

    Maybe he was going for Trump?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Yes but that's part of democratic hemp prohibition... a totally different thing.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Can the government of Oregon prove it has a higher IQ than the parents?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Why would they need to? They got the guns and the blue-suited goons to wield them.

  • widget||

    Ziegler and his partner, Amy Fabbrini, both have below-average IQs—72 and 66, respectively—according to documents provided to The Oregonian.

    I didn't know anyone was allowed to measured IQ scores these day?

  • Rich||

    "Oh, sorry -- we meant *Emotional* Intelligence."

  • Rhywun||

    This year the couple had a second son, Hunter. The state also took custody of him. This time they didn't even wait to see how they'd behave as parents: Fabbrini was still in the hospital when they took the boy.

    I can't even.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Luckily, they were too busy going to strip-clubs in Portland to just kick her right in the stomach during pregnancy.

  • Robert||

    I can't even figure out why people carry on a family name like Swindler.

  • colorblindkid||

    Funny that progressives and big-government types don't believe IQ is even real when discussing most other topics.

  • ||

    Hey, man - when you need a metric, you need a metric.

  • MarkLastname||

    Ya know, it'd be interesting to see what would happen when, after implementing their ((some) progressives') dream of IQ-based parenting licenses, black parents lose their kids five times as often as white parents (as the average IQ among black people is lower than that of white people).

    That's one way to send a whole lot of back people back into the arms of the GOP.

  • Rich||

    NYC law makes dog-sitting illegal without kennel license

    Obviously the solution is to license parents.

  • Rhywun||

    "It's so crazy," said Johnson (D-Manhattan). "There are millions of cats and dogs in New York City, and people I think believe they can pet sit or have someone pet sit for them. To have a law on the books that says that's illegal is antiquated and not practical."

    Libertarian moment.

  • XenoZooValentine||

    NYC is where libertarian moments go to die.

  • Alcibiades||

    In the overall scheme of things it's for the best.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Fuck off, slaver.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Honestly, not it is not. The best thing for children is to be raised in the family home, with mother and father. The only real requirement for parents is that they be "adequate" in the parenting. These people apparently are, and with a little well-considered assistance certainly could be so.

  • Adans smith||

    I want to make a remake about cops low IQ's .This story is just to sad.

  • BYODB||

    Well, if police departments had to hire people with average, or above average I.Q.'s they would 'get bored' and quit or perhaps think twice about riddling a family home with bullet holes. They might even question the law and we can not have that!

    In all seriousness though, it's astounding that Police Departments have the ability to actively discriminate against smart people who might want to be a police officer. Not to mention terrifying. Mostly terrifying.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Hopefully the head of Oregon's CPS will be trounced in the next election over this travesty.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    When I was a kid, a teacher from my school for a study she was doing tested my IQ. She wouldn't tell me the result, however. I figured it was either too low and would affect my self esteem or too high and spur me to finish finally that doomsday machine I had been working on to destroy a world inhabited by subhumans which I had to suffer daily.

  • BYODB||

    ...you monster, Fist.

    Amusingly, I actually have that experience as well only it was paid for. To this day no one will tell me what the result was, so I can only assume I'm retarded from the evidence.

    Not that IQ tests are terribly useful since, last I checked, they tend to go down the more you age. It's the same theory behind tests like the SAT. Not that I ever took the SAT, but whatever. It's the idea that if you test everyone with the same metric, you have an idea on how they measure up to everyone else intellectually.

    Possible, but I'd say faulty given that people came up with the questions in the first place. I guess it depends how you feel about Paulo Freire in some sense.

  • ||

    Yeah - on one hand, it only measures one very specific type of intelligence, and the administration of the test, in my experience, is far from well controlled.

  • EscherEnigma||

    The thing about IQ scores, when properly tested, is that they're only really useful in finding low scores. If someone has a score significantly below a hundred, that's a big ol' yellow flag. But if it's 100 or higher, it doesn't mean "genius", it just means "not retarded".

  • ||

    Well, in fairness, 100 is simply "average." I've been led to believe that 140 is considered "genius."

  • BYODB||

    Well, if people with very high I.Q. believe that the I.Q. test is valuable than the people with very high I.Q. must therefore be correct. Right? Or...wait a second...hey! Those assholes have a scam going here!

  • Bubba Jones||

    No employer has ever asked my IQ. I did have one ask formy SAT and GRE scores 20 years after I graduated with a PhD. That was pretty ridiculous.

  • King's Ransom||

    I hope you haven't given up on your dream either way

  • ||

    This is a hard one for me. I recall a story about a mentally retarded woman who killed her infant because she thought putting her in the microwave would be a good way to dry the baby off.

    I can't think of many more horrible things than that.

    I wouldn't allow a person with a 66 IQ to babysit an infant, either, because of the danger of them doing something similarly stupid that would endanger them physically, from leaving them alone in a bathtub or on a changing table, or shaking them or giving them sedatives to put them to sleep. All sorts of things that could permanently damage or kill a child when the child is completely at the mercy of the parent's ability to care for them.

    MAybe there should be some sort of program for retarded parents to have professionals assist in caring for their kids until the kids get to an age where they can yell something like Moomy, don't put me in the microwave, it hurts!

  • Crusty Juggler :)||

    I can't think of many more horrible things than that.

    Where does, "you're too retarded to take care of your kids because your one kid didn't do a good enough job washing his hands after he used the restroom" fall on your horrible scale?

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Right up there with "your kid stuck his gum on the underside of the table".

    The horror. The horror

  • Zeb||

    Bad shit like that does happen. But I think you have to give any parent a lot of benefit of the doubt or you set dangerous precedents.

  • BYODB||

    And this is how it was considered 'humane' to forcibly sterilize them. It was for 'their own good', you see.

    Thus was the tyranny of good intentions born.

  • Stoic||

    I work in the disability services field, and there are a LOT of parents with IQ's below 75 who are raising kids. Heck, an IQ above 70 (like the mom's in this case) doesn't even qualify as a disability in most cases. DSM-5 bases intellectual disability level on "adaptive functioning" rather than the IQ score because the correlation between IQ and ability to function as an adult is not consistent. I had one client who's IQ score came back as 48, and he was married with kids and had worked most of his adult life.

    If Oregon thinks an IQ of 72 is too low to be allowed to parent, they're going to have to massively expand their foster care budget and hire a lot more social workers. Oh wait ... better not give them any ideas.

  • ||

    Fair enough. I have no idea what the IQ of the woman who microwaved her baby was. IIRC she had Down's Syndrome.
    Taking care of an infant is a significant responsibility. I'm just inclined to think there are probably some people out there who should not be allowed to care for infants, even their own, due to mental incapacity. Where that threshold lies is a different question. Maybe it's the same threshold where the person needs to be in an institution or home, or maybe theres a zone between "you need to be in a home for the mentally disabled" and "you can live on your own, but you're not going to be allowed to care for a young child".

  • ||

    ALso, there's a difference between putting the child in someone else's care for a while and just taking them and putting them up for adoption. Too dumb to care for an infant isn't necessarily too dumb to care for a five year old. It gets easier as the kid gets older.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I certainly don't trust anyone in government to make that distinction.

  • ||

    I certainly don't trust anyone in government to make that distinction.

    ^ This.

  • ||

    Well, who should? Wait until someone microwaves a baby to decide they should not be allowed to care for an infant? Should relatives be able to sue for custody in court when they think their mentally retarded daughter/cousin/niece shouldn't be caring for an infant? Because ultimately someone in government DOES make those decisions, even if it's a judge in family court.

    I am 99% of the time on the side of parents to keep custody of their children, but I wouldn't eliminate CPS entirely. There are cases of actual child abuse where the government has to protect the child's right to not be killed or raped by their parents and relatives. There's got to be a point where "too stupid to be trusted to care for an infant" kicks in and someone has to make that call, before the baby winds up dead.

  • MarkLastname||

    Well, let's consider for a moment: suppose a couple of 8 year olds find a baby somewhere and decide they want to raise it by themselves (or, if you prefer science fiction, two 8 year olds somehow manage to conceive a child); should CPS take the child away? Or leave it in the care of the 8 year olds? What about 7 year olds? 6 year olds?

    Most people would probably agree that it is reasonable to not allow young children to be solely responsible for the rearing of other children, precisely because they are not smart or knowledgeable enough to do so. I think we all generally accept that 16 or 18 (or 14 if we're talking about the age of consent in Spain) are rather arbitrary numbers, but the idea behind them is you have to reach a certain level of psychological maturity before being allowed to do something, including raising a child, and age is accepted as a decent predictor of that.

    So, if we wouldn't let a 7 year old raise a child, is there any reason why we should let a 40 year old with the faculties of a 7 year old raise a child?

  • ||

    DSM-5 bases intellectual disability level on "adaptive functioning" rather than the IQ score because the correlation between IQ and ability to function as an adult is not consistent.

    This my be urban mythology, but my understanding is that Einstein, despite a speculated 200+ IQ, was confounded by basic life tasks.

  • XenoZooValentine||

    He was incredibly eccentric (and kind of a dick) but the thing that he had some kind of mental illness or learning disability has been debunked a few times.

  • MarkLastname||

    From what I understand, he learned to talk relatively late, which is actually somewhat common among highly intelligent people. Oddly enough, Thomas Sowell wrote a book on this topic.

  • Stoic||

    Well, to be clear, the "intellectual disability" diagnosis requires a low IQ in addition to the low adaptive functioning. So someone with a high IQ but low adaptive functioning wouldn't qualify (though they'd probably qualify for some other diagnosis, such as autism). When there is a low IQ (typically less than 70, but 70-75 is a "maybe" range), an adaptive behavior assessment must be completed before the diagnosis is made, and the level of disability (mild, moderate, or severe) will be based on the adaptive score rather than the IQ.

  • Azathoth!!||

    This is something that you can't really comprehend unless you are at the higher reaches of IQ.

    Try this. Imagine that you're surrounded by retards. Retards that get violently angry any time you try to provide an easier or better way for them to do something--but who understand and appreciate that's what you're trying to do at the same time.

    You have no choice but to do things the retarded way because --except in the privacy of your own home-- that's all there is. If you do something different, you alarm the retards--so you do everything in a herky-jerky way, getting away with what you can, but usually being forced to do things in a way that feels odd or wrong.

    Maybe 'retards' is the wrong word........monkeys?........ants?

  • Hank Phillips||

    What about members of State Legislatures? If ever there was a case for compulsory sterilization for lack of sense, they're it!

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Some asswipe with a degree in "social services' documents bad hygiene and failure to properly apply sunscreen so the state kidnaps 2 children one one of whom never goes home with his parents. But a shiny new government program for retards with a bunch "professionals" will save the day. Fuck off slaver.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cmf7FTytRac

  • ||

    You'd rather just take the kid and put them up for adoption with no visitation or future right to contact the child?
    I'm proposing a system where mentally disabled parents (not saying that is the case here), actually get custody back, eventually, when the kids is a little older and can do things like climb out of the bathtub on their own.

  • ||

    You'd rather just take the kid and put them up for adoption with no visitation or future right to contact the child?
    I'm proposing a system where mentally disabled parents (not saying that is the case here), actually get custody back, eventually, when the kids is a little older and can do things like climb out of the bathtub on their own.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    I proposed no such thing. I propose that, barring actual abuse, violence or neglect, people be allowed to parent their own children. It seems to me an obviously inalienable right. I have zero confidence that government can do better than families.

  • MarkLastname||

    Do you think that drunk driving should be a crime?

  • Bubba Jones||

    Fortunately nothing bad ever happens in foster homes.

  • MarkLastname||

    Suppose there were empirical evidence that a child would be safer and more effectively raised in foster care than by their natural parent(s) with (an) IQ(s) below X. Would this justify putting children with parents with

  • MarkLastname||

    This is not, by the way, a rhetorical question on which I purport to have a firm opinion.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    And yet these fucking assholes never seem to take the kids away from the maniacs who bash their kids skulls in, even though CPS goes to their home a half dozen times.

  • Dillinger||

    hand washing + appropriate sunscreen = awesome parents. fuck you, oregon cps.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Sunscreen. In Oregon. Wtf. I grew up I texas and almost never wore sunscreen.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    I wonder what the effective IQ of the government is...

  • ||

    My parents taught me not to piss and shit on my hands.

    Guess they should have been summarily executed.

  • Longtobefree||

    Between them, their IQ is 138.
    The IQ of CPS, combined, is zero.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I guess The Shack is doling out the CPS run amok nut punches today instead of Lenore.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    This just highlights my problem with the entire concept of CPS. If parents do a bad job of raising a child, that's potentially a tragedy, but if the government screws up a family - since the government supposedly represents my interests - that is partly my responsibility. And I don't want it. I would rather heal with the fallout of inept, irresponsible, or abusive parenting than that of stupid government buttinskies.

  • Ankah||

    I disagree with you 100%, because these are children, in every sense of the word, and should be protected, but at least you are honest, and I understand where you are coming from.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The thing is, your position would be completely reasonable.....if the government was even half as wise and competent as we are told it is. But it isn't. Governments are good at brute force and bean counting. At anything requiring nuanced judgement, subtlety, or tact they simply suck balls. Building roads, delivering the mail, and reminding our enemies to be circumspect should be about the limit of the government's duties. Child care is right out.

  • MarkLastname||

    That clearly depends on how bad the childcare is, and how bad the parents are.

    Forget reasoning from anecdotes. If, in a given city, county, or other political entity, children removed by CPS and put in foster care, by some metric, do better than children left in the care of parents meeting some criterion (e.g., having Downs Syndrome, heroin addiction, etc.), would you agree that the state of said entity is right to, as a matter of policy, remove children from such parents and put them in foster care?

    I don't think the standard libertarian arguments regarding coercion are applicable here, as children are by definition subject to coercion, and it does not seem appropriate to assume that parents' rights to custody over their children unequivocally supercedes the actual interests of their children.

  • Johnimo||

    I've NEVER met anyone smart enough to be a parent. Just talk to anyone without children and you'll soon find they don't know ANYTHING about parenting. Bureaucrats, likewise, are among some of the dumbest people who've ever lived.

  • Bubba Jones||

    This is eugenics.

    The grandparent who complained should be responsible for raising the children.

    My parents are both above average in iq and I am pretty sure I didn't wash my hands very often until I was in high school... thankfully we don't live in an age of cholera.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Buck v Bell is alive and well though I suspect even Obama might deplore the decision on a good day.

    There are (or should be) ample means available to help parents of "limited cognitive abilities" to provide proper parenting to their children. That the State of Oregon would not make these programs available without removing the kids speaks not to any problems with the parents but to the egregiously arrogant paternalism of the nanny state.

  • Corin Elessar||

    An 'official' IQ measurement is an average of the three main IQ tests. My lowest is 166. For the life of me, I can't see how being smart has helped me as a parent. If anything, being highly intelligent has been a detriment, as I find myself wrapped in projects so often that I often don't spend the quality time with my kids that they really need. My daughter may be able to rebuild a transmission at 6, but does that make up for not cuddling on the couch with her?

    If anything, I could see lower intelligence being a help, as the...gosh this sounds terrible...more stupid people I've observed tend towards higher empathy and being able to be pleased by simple things. I spend 5 minutes playing blocks with my 1 year old and I'm good, but many fairly unintelligent people I know can spend an hour of 'tummy time' without feeling the pull of other tasks that I seem to have.

    The one question I have about this, is the one that hasn't been answered. Is there anything that can actually be done. A petition to sign to urge a reconsideration of the case, a flood of letters to Oregon CPS complaining about the treatment of the case, anything like that going on?

  • Longtobefree||

    Is there anything that can actually be done.
    Nope.

  • Queer and Pleasant Danger||

    Next door in Washington, they would have taken the kid away for using sunscreen in the first place.

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  • mysmartstuffs||

    Hopefully the head of Oregon's CPS will be trounced in the next election over this travesty.

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  • adampeart||

    I wonder how the third world refugees and illegal aliens from south of the border that Oregon accepts with open arms fare on IQ tests? Or the 15 year old mothers in the inner cities?

  • count2potato||

    So what will the state do if a couple from Somalia, where the average IQ is 68, has children? Will they come in and take them as well, or does PC culture prevent that from happening?

  • Hank Phillips||

    It might not be Politically Communistic in that case. Somalis are suspected of having a libertarian streak and of being "difficult" to assimilate and indoctrinate.

  • IMissLiberty||

    Sunscreen encourages cancer by preventing the production of Vitamin D.

    I doubt any household's parenting stands up to scrutiny any better than its kitchen would to scrutiny by the Health Department, yet we thrive.

  • DenverJ||

    Ok listen up you mugs. This story is linked to at Real Clear Politics, so be on your best behavior. That means no woodchipper jokes.

  • Longtobefree||

    There is nothing funny about the woodchipper. It is a serious tool for social change. Beats the hell out of torches and pitchforks.

  • tommhan||

    So when are they going to inner city neighborhoods and start taking bus loads of kids to Foster care?

  • Cy||

    That would be racist!

  • Hank Phillips||

    Ja! Der blond Aryan kinder to ze Lebensborn indoctrination facilities, zen off to Hitlerjugend! Gott mitt uns!

  • Prospero||

    Not that I think given the information presented here this couple should not have their children any longer, but there is likely more to the story than "they didn't wash their hands". How does your opinion on this change with the fact that neither of these parents works, and the father collects social security because he is too mentally disabled to work? I mean if you have been deemed not mentally capable of working *any* job so the state is going to give you money, are you capable of raising an infant?

    This headline is pretty disingenuous - it was not that they are not "smart enough" to raise their kids, it is that they are actually mentally disabled which may (or may not for all I know given the available information) be incapable of doing things like changing diapers, properly washing their children, recognizing when they need to see a doctor, etc.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Yes, the William Shatner movie "Judgment at Nuremberg" touched on National Socialist forced sterilization eugenics. But eugenics laws were, in "A Traveller from Altruria," cited in 1892-3 cited as proof of American civilization--aspects of which Germany had incorporated into the Hitler régime. The German defense lawyer pointed to the popularity of eugenics among famous Americans by way of reasons for not hanging Nazi judges for enforcing things like altruistic laws against selfish jewishness. The State of Oregon is only following the same examples Germany clung fast to beginning in 1933. Dr Michael Crichton restated much of this in "State of Fear."

  • mysmartstuffs||

    Hopefully the head of Oregon's CPS will be trounced in the next election over this travesty.
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  • mysmartstuffs||

    This is My recent post: Self-Confidence Social Posters Review

    The grandparent who complained should be responsible for raising the children.

    My parents are both above average in iq and I am pretty sure I didn't wash my hands very often until I was in high school... thankfully we don't live in an age of cholera.

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