Child custody case centered on parents' low IQ

There are a number of ways that parents can lose custody of their children. State authorities will step in if a child is being abused, neglected or has been abandoned. Outside of those matters, however, most parents feel comfortable that the state will not interfere with their parental rights. In fact, losing child custody rights to the state is not even a concern that registers with most Georgia parents. Unfortunately, there are cases in which children are removed from loving homes even when there is no evidence of abuse or neglect.

An example lies in the case of a couple who lost custody after child welfare authorities in their state of residence determined that they lacked the mental capacity to care for their two small children. The father receives Social Security disability checks for a mental disability, and has an estimated IQ of 66. The mother was tested and demonstrated an IQ of 72. The average IQ range for adults is between 90 and 110.

The two children were removed from the home and placed into foster care. Although there were no signs of abuse or neglect, the decision was made to remove the children based on a child welfare evaluation that stated that the "limited cognitive abilities" of the parents interfered with their ability to safely parent the children. Unless the parents are able to demonstrate a significant change in their circumstances, then they have little hope of having their children returned to their care.

These types of child custody cases spark significant debate about how and why children should be removed from their homes. Many believe that absent any type of abuse or neglect, the intelligence level of the parents should not play a role in whether they are deemed fit to parent their children. Others feel that the safety of the child should be the determining factor, and that limited cognitive abilities could place a child at risk of harm. For Georgia parents who face a custody challenge from state authorities, it is absolutely imperative to take immediate action to protect parental rights.

Source: deseretnews.com, "This couple may have lost custody of their kids because they weren't smart enough", Eric Schulzke, July 31, 2017

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