Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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When IQ level leads to a custody dispute with the state

What makes a parent a good parent? What is it that makes a parent prepared to tackle the monumental task of taking care of and molding a small human being into a strong and capable adult? According to some states, a parent's IQ matters and when it is not considered high enough, it is reason for some parents to lose custody of their children. This could lead to a custody dispute with the state. This has happened in Massachusetts and elsewhere.

Few feel hopeful when the state takes their children away. But there are those who have been successfully able to get their children returned to them, despite their intellectual disabilities. In fact, a Massachusetts woman won her case back in 2015. Her daughter was removed from her care at only 2 days old. It took two years of fighting in court, but the court ultimately deemed her capable of taking care of her child.

A couple in another state has not been so lucky. They have two sons, one of whom is now 4 years old and the other only 8 months old. Both were removed from their care soon after birth. The parent's IQs are listed in the high 60s and lower 70s, so the state deemed them intellectually incapable of caring for them. The father of the boys is able to hold down a job and provide a home and there were no signs of abuse or neglect, yet the state has refused to return the children.

Fighting a custody dispute with the state of Massachusetts is never going to be easy. Parents who find themselves in such positions could benefit from having experienced legal counsel on their side every step of the way. While such cases may take time to resolve, with help it is possible to do everything necessary to fight to regain parental rights.

Source: Inside Edition, "Parents With Intellectual Disabilities Share Heartbreak of Losing Custody of Their Children", Deborah Hastings, Nov. 17, 2017

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