Oregon Takes Children Away from Parents Due to Low IQs


In the realm of child custody cases, the state of Oregon has occasionally faced criticism for its practice of removing children from parents with low IQ scores. This article delves into the topic of Oregon’s child custody policies and the controversial consideration of low IQ as a determining factor. We will explore the legal, ethical, and societal implications surrounding this practice.

Understanding Low IQ

Amy Fabbrini & Eric Ziegler and their child
Source: Dailymail

Low IQ refers to an individual’s cognitive ability, typically measured through intelligence quotient tests. It is important to note that low IQ alone does not define a person’s overall capabilities or their suitability as parents. IQ scores are influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, and they may not accurately represent an individual’s true potential or their ability to provide a nurturing environment for their children.

Child Welfare Systems and Policies in Oregon

Oregon, like other states, has a child welfare system in place to protect children from neglect, abuse, and unsafe living conditions. The state’s policies aim to ensure the safety and well-being of children, and this includes assessing the parenting abilities of individuals involved in child custody cases. The system involves various professionals, including social workers, psychologists, and legal experts, who carefully evaluate the circumstances to make decisions in the best interests of the child.

Factors Considered in Child Custody Cases

When determining child custody, courts in Oregon consider a range of factors to assess the child’s best interests. These factors may include the parent’s mental and physical health, history of abuse or neglect, financial stability, and the overall ability to provide a safe and supportive environment for the child’s development. While IQ may be one aspect considered, it is important to recognize that it is just one factor among many and should not be the sole determinant in child custody decisions.

Controversy Surrounding IQ as a Determining Factor

Amy Fabbrini and Eric Ziegler
Source: Witnessla

The consideration of low IQ as a determining factor in child custody cases has generated significant controversy. Critics argue that relying solely on IQ scores may lead to unfair judgments, as it overlooks other important aspects of parenting. IQ scores do not reflect emotional intelligence, resilience, or the capacity for personal growth and learning. Moreover, studies have shown that children can thrive in environments where parents with lower IQ scores receive adequate support and resources.

Legal and Ethical Concerns

The use of low IQ as a factor in child custody decisions raises legal and ethical concerns. It may be seen as discriminatory, as it disproportionately affects individuals with intellectual disabilities. Additionally, it can be argued that removing children based solely on parental IQ does not necessarily promote the child’s best interests. Legal challenges have been raised against this practice, highlighting the need for comprehensive assessments that consider a broader range of factors.

Alternatives to Removal

Rather than automatically removing children from parents with low IQ scores, alternative measures can be explored to ensure the child’s well-being. Providing support, resources, and parental training programs can empower parents to enhance their parenting skills and create a safe and nurturing environment for their children. Collaboration between child welfare agencies, community organizations, and medical professionals can play a vital role in assisting families in need.

Importance of Support and Resources

Support and resources play a crucial role in helping parents with low IQ scores provide a nurturing environment for their children. Access to quality education, counseling services, and specialized assistance can address the challenges they may face. By focusing on support rather than removal, the welfare of both the child and the parents can be prioritized, promoting family stability and overall well-being.


The practice of removing children from parents solely based on low IQ scores is a contentious issue in Oregon. While child welfare systems aim to protect children, it is essential to consider the limitations of IQ scores in accurately assessing an individual’s parenting abilities. The focus should be on providing support, resources, and opportunities for growth to help parents with low IQ scores create a safe and loving environment for their children.

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