Can Parents Lose Custody of their Child Because of a Low IQ?

When deciding on child custody cases, child service agencies and courts will make decisions that are based on what is in the child’s best interest. The interests of the child are investigated and looked into in a number of ways.


From the stability and safety of the child when they are with a certain parent, to the continuity of friend, family and school relationships – all these factors may come into play. Custody is rarely determined based on allegations of abuse or absenteeism with no real proof.

The Factor of Parent’s IQ and Custody Cases

According to a couple in Oregon, they have claimed that only a single factor has been used to deny them legal custody of their two young children – their IQ. In fact, this factor alone even spurred the Department of Human Services to come in and take the couple’s new baby before they even had a chance to take him home from the hospital.

Is Parent’s IQ a Legal Factor to Base Custody Decisions On?

The average person has an IQ that is somewhere in the range of 90 to 110. The parents of the children in question have lower IQs. The mother, Amy Fabbrini, has an IQ of 72, which is considered low to borderline in regard to the normal level of intelligence. Her boyfriend and father of the children, Eric Ziegler, has an IQ of approximately 66, which puts him at the mild range of intellectual disability. According to the court documents that were filed in the custody battle they are fighting for their two young sons, the state has made the claim that both of the parents have limited cognitive abilities, which is interfering with the ability they have to safely parent their children.

While DHS did not offer a comment on the case specifically, it was reported that the parent’s IQ alone could not be the only factor used in determining if the children should be removed from the home. This is true for every state, including Florida. This means there are other factors in play that led to the children being taken and the parents losing custody.

If you are facing a child custody issue, it is in your best interest to hire a family law attorney for help. They can review the facts of the case to determine what needs to be done and what is in the best interest of everyone involved. If you need more information about hiring a child custody attorney, or for help with any questions you may have, contact the lawyers at the Law Office of Jeffrey Thompson by calling 321-253-3771.

Additional Reading:

Custody Can Hinge Upon Former Criminal Behavior

How Does Domestic Violence Impact Divorce in Florida?

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