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

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

Post by nicole » 20 Jul 2017, 13:47

I realize I have some eccentric ideas about parenting, but I think even normal people would think Scott Schackford's post is misleading.
Schackford wrote: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.

That's not the only reason the government intervened.
But it's the only reason he cites (along with a sunblock issue from the same report). In fact, Fabbrini (the mother) already had shared custody of twins from a different father before Christopher was born. Which was a surprise.
Fabbrini said she didn't know she was pregnant.

"Here and there I have kidney issues so I just thought I was having kidney issues, that's what I associated the pain with," she said. "I was trying to go to sleep and trying to get comfortable ... and I felt this weird pain down there."

That was Christopher, who was born at Ziegler's home weighing 7.4 pounds. The couple called for an ambulance, and a hospital evaluation determined both mother and son were healthy.

Fabbrini at the time was living at her father's home with the twins, then age 6, but often spending the night with Ziegler. Her father, Raymond Fabbrini, says he urged her to put Christopher up for adoption.

Raymond Fabbrini, 74, is a gruff man who has strong feelings about Amy's abilities. "She doesn't have the instincts to be a mother," he said.

He said he and his wife provided most of the parenting for the twins. His wife died of Alzheimer's a week before Christopher's birth.

He said his daughter had been primarily home schooled and he expressed frustration with her, unabashedly calling her a lazy child.

"Me and Amy were never close," he said. "She got me mad so many times. She wouldn't do nothing."
The father took the baby home.
According to child welfare records provided by the couple, 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."

Ziegler says he was lying next to his son while feeding him. The dog (which he still has) is well-fed, perhaps even too plump.
http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-north ... _disa.html

Come on, guys.

ETA: my bad, this was Schackford not Skenazy
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Re: The Government Thinks This Couple Isn't Smart Enough to Be Parents, So It Took Their Kids Away

Post by Hugh Akston » 20 Jul 2017, 14:30

So we're trusting the word of a father who has an admittedly strained relationship with his daughter?
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Re: The Government Thinks This Couple Isn't Smart Enough to Be Parents, So It Took Their Kids Away

Post by nicole » 20 Jul 2017, 14:39

I was trusting the woman who said she had no idea she was pregnant until she went into labor.
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Re: The Government Thinks This Couple Isn't Smart Enough to Be Parents, So It Took Their Kids Away

Post by Hugh Akston » 20 Jul 2017, 14:45

Which supports the idea that she's not the sharpest crayon in the box, but is not a clear indication that she's dangerously unqualified to be a parent.
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Re: The Government Thinks This Couple Isn't Smart Enough to Be Parents, So It Took Their Kids Away

Post by nicole » 20 Jul 2017, 14:51

Perhaps not, but I think an average person would think it was more suggestive of that fact than the father forgetting to remind the kid to wash his hands after going to the bathroom.
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Re: The Government Thinks This Couple Isn't Smart Enough to Be Parents, So It Took Their Kids Away

Post by nicole » 20 Jul 2017, 15:04

I mean read the comments (I know you have). They all think this is about handwashing, and it ain't about handwashing.
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Re: The Government Thinks This Couple Isn't Smart Enough to Be Parents, So It Took Their Kids Away

Post by Highway » 20 Jul 2017, 15:11

Yeah, if Shackford made that about handwashing, that's not what it's about. And while I'm always skeptical of CPS, this definitely doesn't seem like the start of a new initiative by them to take children away from all of the below-average intelligence parents out there.
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Re: The Government Thinks This Couple Isn't Smart Enough to Be Parents, So It Took Their Kids Away

Post by Hugh Akston » 20 Jul 2017, 15:14

The handwashing and sunscreen were in the official reports that form part of the CPS' legal justification. The pregnancy etc stuff from her dad are just her dad grumbling to a reporter.
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Re: The Government Thinks This Couple Isn't Smart Enough to Be Parents, So It Took Their Kids Away

Post by nicole » 20 Jul 2017, 15:22

Again, what about the part where she had no idea she was pregnant?

Here's one that's very sympathetic to the parents but still doesn't put the emphasis on handwashing because, again, this ain't about handwashing: https://medicalkidnap.com/2017/05/19/or ... kidnapped/

ETA: Also note that one report claims her issue was endometriosis, while the quotes from her in Oregon Live refer to "kidney issues"
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Re: The Government Thinks This Couple Isn't Smart Enough to Be Parents, So It Took Their Kids Away

Post by Masked Grylliader » 20 Jul 2017, 15:23

Highway wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 15:11
Yeah, if Shackford made that about handwashing, that's not what it's about. And while I'm always skeptical of CPS, this definitely doesn't seem like the start of a new initiative by them to take children away from all of the below-average intelligence parents out there.
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Re: The Government Thinks This Couple Isn't Smart Enough to Be Parents, So It Took Their Kids Away

Post by Warren » 20 Jul 2017, 15:47

Masked Grylliader wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 15:23
Highway wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 15:11
Yeah, if Shackford made that about handwashing, that's not what it's about. And while I'm always skeptical of CPS, this definitely doesn't seem like the start of a new initiative by them to take children away from all of the below-average intelligence parents out there.
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Re: The Government Thinks This Couple Isn't Smart Enough to Be Parents, So It Took Their Kids Away

Post by Hugh Akston » 20 Jul 2017, 16:06

if it's not about handwashing then what is it about? Because it is most certainly not about a documented pattern of abuse or neglect.
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Re: The Government Thinks This Couple Isn't Smart Enough to Be Parents, So It Took Their Kids Away

Post by nicole » 20 Jul 2017, 16:21

Hugh Akston wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 16:06
if it's not about handwashing then what is it about? Because it is most certainly not about a documented pattern of abuse or neglect.
Well, that depends on who you ask, and I think Shackford cherry-picked what he included in the post to make it look like there was no big deal and this was ridiculous government nannying. There are both far more serious allegations against the government in the Medical Kidnap report as well as far more serious allegations against the parents, both there and in the Oregon Live column. Shackford mentions Fabbrini's father's "troubled relationship with her," but fails to mention that her father was already caring for her two other kids or that she was living with him, let alone that she didn't realize she was pregnant.
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Re: The Government Thinks This Couple Isn't Smart Enough to Be Parents, So It Took Their Kids Away

Post by Hugh Akston » 20 Jul 2017, 16:44

Apparently cryptic pregnancy is a thing that happens 1 in 2,500 women. Hopefully Oregon CPS has enough stormtroopers to deploy to all those birthing rooms.
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Re: The Government Thinks This Couple Isn't Smart Enough to Be Parents, So It Took Their Kids Away

Post by nicole » 20 Jul 2017, 16:52

Hugh Akston wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 16:44
Apparently cryptic pregnancy is a thing that happens 1 in 2,500 women. Hopefully Oregon CPS has enough stormtroopers to deploy to all those birthing rooms.
She said she knew she had irregular periods. You test yourself. I do. You goddamn well test yourself. And there's no indication she had a "cryptic pregnancy."
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Re: The Government Thinks This Couple Isn't Smart Enough to Be Parents, So It Took Their Kids Away

Post by Jennifer » 20 Jul 2017, 17:27

nicole wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 16:52
Hugh Akston wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 16:44
Apparently cryptic pregnancy is a thing that happens 1 in 2,500 women. Hopefully Oregon CPS has enough stormtroopers to deploy to all those birthing rooms.
She said she knew she had irregular periods. You test yourself. I do. You goddamn well test yourself. And there's no indication she had a "cryptic pregnancy."
Having irregular periods is not necessarily synonymous with "having a cryptic pregnancy," and most women who worry they might be pregnant tend to cease worrying the minute a period starts; I'd guess the number or percentage of people who know "It is possible, in rare cases, to be pregnant yet still have what appears to be a period" is rather small.

And she says she never knew she was pregnant until she gave birth, which suggests one of two possibilities: one, she did indeed have a cryptic pregnancy; or two, she managed to go nine months without noticing "Hey, I haven't been having my period and I'm gaining a lot of weight; I wonder if this means I'm pregnant?" in which case she likely is too mentally disabled to care for a child.

This case is a tough call, though. If a man's intellectual disability is severe enough that he's actually On Disability because of it ... if you're too intellectually disabled to even care for your own self, how are you supposed to be smart enough to care for a child, too?

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

Post by Hugh Akston » 20 Jul 2017, 17:38

What if CPS doesn't assume that people with disabilities are inherently unfit parents, and waits to kidnap children until it has substantive evidence that they are being abused or neglected?

As a bonus, we can use the opportunity to acknowledge that IQ is a garbage measure that only garbage people take seriously.
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Re: The Government Thinks This Couple Isn't Smart Enough to Be Parents, So It Took Their Kids Away

Post by Jennifer » 20 Jul 2017, 17:51

Hugh Akston wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 17:38
What if CPS doesn't assume that people with disabilities are inherently unfit parents, and waits to kidnap children until it has substantive evidence that they are being abused or neglected?

As a bonus, we can use the opportunity to acknowledge that IQ is a garbage measure that only garbage people take seriously.
Reminder: this case isn't merely about "disabilities," but "Intellectual disabilities bad enough that one parent is already On Disability for it, even though the federal government isn't exactly generous and spendthrifty when it comes to handing out money on the grounds 'Huh, yeah, your disability is so great, you can't be expected to care for yourself, so here's some free money for you to live on'."

And in this circumstance, given that one child had already been taken away, that does make a precedent for the next child to be taken away while still a newborn. (Similar to how a certain Gryllmember's adopted child was taken away from his methbilly-nightmare bio-parents: if bio-mom has yet another child after that, I wouldn't blame the state CPS from coming in and taking that kid right away.)

This case really is a tough call, though. It's not a matter of "This one single action from the parents proves they're unfit" -- nothing along the lines of "This one time they beat the kid and broke bones" (that alone should justify taking the kid away, regardless of how good the parents might otherwise be) -- it's a whole bunch of individual things which individually, on their own, aren't enough to justify CPS involvement, but altogether? Combine enough trees and you end up with a forest.
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Re: The Government Thinks This Couple Isn't Smart Enough to Be Parents, So It Took Their Kids Away

Post by thoreau » 20 Jul 2017, 17:58

Masked Grylliader wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 15:23
Highway wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 15:11
Yeah, if Shackford made that about handwashing, that's not what it's about. And while I'm always skeptical of CPS, this definitely doesn't seem like the start of a new initiative by them to take children away from all of the below-average intelligence parents out there.
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Re: The Government Thinks This Couple Isn't Smart Enough to Be Parents, So It Took Their Kids Away

Post by Hugh Akston » 20 Jul 2017, 18:04

There is nothing in either story to justify the theft of the first kid except for the word of two assholes with possible grudges. That does not make a valid precedent for stealing the second kid.
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Re: The Government Thinks This Couple Isn't Smart Enough to Be Parents, So It Took Their Kids Away

Post by Jennifer » 20 Jul 2017, 18:11

Hugh Akston wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 18:04
There is nothing in either story to justify the theft of the first kid except for the word of two assholes with possible grudges. That does not make a valid precedent for stealing the second kid.
Setting aside the maternal grandfather's commentary (because he does indeed sound like an asshole with a grudge), there does sound like there might be enough trees in that Oregon Live story to qualify for a forest here--even though no single tree by itself is enough to point to and say "This alone makes for an unfit parent."
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Re: The Government Thinks This Couple Isn't Smart Enough to Be Parents, So It Took Their Kids Away

Post by Hugh Akston » 20 Jul 2017, 18:20

Jennifer wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 18:11
Hugh Akston wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 18:04
There is nothing in either story to justify the theft of the first kid except for the word of two assholes with possible grudges. That does not make a valid precedent for stealing the second kid.
Setting aside the maternal grandfather's commentary (because he does indeed sound like an asshole with a grudge), there does sound like there might be enough trees in that Oregon Live story to qualify for a forest here--even though no single tree by itself is enough to point to and say "This alone makes for an unfit parent."
If there are more substantive claims of unfitness in the CPS file than handwashing and sunscreen then no one outside of the couple, their attorney, and the CPS has seen them. From what we see in those two articles it appears very much that two people with standard high school diplomas have had their children seized by the state for failing to measure up to a vague and arbitrary benchmark of intelligence as determined by an agency with vast power and no oversight.
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Re: The Government Thinks This Couple Isn't Smart Enough to Be Parents, So It Took Their Kids Away

Post by nicole » 20 Jul 2017, 18:28

Hugh Akston wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 18:20
Jennifer wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 18:11
Hugh Akston wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 18:04
There is nothing in either story to justify the theft of the first kid except for the word of two assholes with possible grudges. That does not make a valid precedent for stealing the second kid.
Setting aside the maternal grandfather's commentary (because he does indeed sound like an asshole with a grudge), there does sound like there might be enough trees in that Oregon Live story to qualify for a forest here--even though no single tree by itself is enough to point to and say "This alone makes for an unfit parent."
If there are more substantive claims of unfitness in the CPS file than handwashing and sunscreen then no one outside of the couple, their attorney, and the CPS has seen them. From what we see in those two articles it appears very much that two people with standard high school diplomas have had their children seized by the state for failing to measure up to a vague and arbitrary benchmark of intelligence as determined by an agency with vast power and no oversight.
What about the allegation that the father almost rolled over on the baby while they slept? The allegation that they don't brush their teeth? The allegation that the father forgets to feed his dog? The allegation that the mother wasn't able to care for her other two children?

Do you actually want to defend Shackford's article, or just attack CPS?
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Re: The Government Thinks This Couple Isn't Smart Enough to Be Parents, So It Took Their Kids Away

Post by Jennifer » 20 Jul 2017, 18:34

Hugh Akston wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 18:20
Jennifer wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 18:11
Hugh Akston wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 18:04
There is nothing in either story to justify the theft of the first kid except for the word of two assholes with possible grudges. That does not make a valid precedent for stealing the second kid.
Setting aside the maternal grandfather's commentary (because he does indeed sound like an asshole with a grudge), there does sound like there might be enough trees in that Oregon Live story to qualify for a forest here--even though no single tree by itself is enough to point to and say "This alone makes for an unfit parent."
If there are more substantive claims of unfitness in the CPS file than handwashing and sunscreen then no one outside of the couple, their attorney, and the CPS has seen them.
And the dad being very easily frustrated and forgetting to feed the dog and being intellectually disabled enough to actually get disability payments over it and neither parent is working and they only have a roof over their heads because the dad's parents are letting them live in their house (though the story isn't going into detail about how that arrangement works: are the homeowners also paying the property taxes, utilities and other expenses, or is this couple handling all that, and "only" getting free rent out of the deal?). And due to confidentiality reasons, CPS genuinely can't go into detail about the case (which could work for or against the parents, depending).

Again, I'm not saying "CPS is definitely, absolutely in the right here," but neither am I saying they're definitely wrong either. There's not enough information available to tell -- but I will admit to thinking "If your intellectual disability is so bad that the government is paying you for it, that alone puts a lot of points in the 'you really ought not to be caring for a kid' column."
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Re: The Government Thinks This Couple Isn't Smart Enough to Be Parents, So It Took Their Kids Away

Post by Aresen » 20 Jul 2017, 18:39

I think we all agree that the interests of the child are paramount.

We are dealing with two narratives, each doing their best to smear the other.

By default, libertarians are wary of CPS or any other government agency, but who do we nominate to see that the child's interests are protected? Usually, the parents are better at doing so - even poor parents average better than institutional situations - , but this is not universally true.

Who makes the call and on what basis? The nosy neighbor who thinks that allowing your six year old to play unsupervised in the back yard is child abuse?
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