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Could Punta Gorda parents lose custody over intelligence?

Most parents have no fear of losing their kids to state authorities, due to the fact that they provide a safe and loving home. Unfortunately, that is not always enough, and there are cases in Punta Gorda and elsewhere that place parents at odds with the state for reasons outside of abuse or neglect. An example is found in the case of a couple who lost custody of their kids due to concerns over their intellectual capabilities.

The case centers on the idea that the parents lack the mental capacity to act as safe parents. The mother tested at an IQ level of around 72, and the father tested at around 66. Those levels are well below the "normal" range of between 90 and 110. Around five years ago, their older son was taken from their care shortly after his birth. That same series of events followed the birth of their second son, and now both children have been made available for adoption.

Many advocates for the mentally disabled feel that children should be left in their homes unless there are issues of abuse or neglect, and not removed simply due to concerns over the intelligence level of the parents. In fact, many parents with mental disabilities are able to be great parents to their kids, and their parental rights are never challenged. In this case, it appear that a decision was made based on concerns over what might happen, rather than evidence of what did happen.

For most Punta Gorda parents, these issues are of little concern to their immediate lives. However, many people feel that it is not a good idea for the state to have so much power over families. In some cases, that power is abused, and families are broken for no clear reason. The family mentioned here now has little chance of having their children returned to their care unless serious legislative changes occur in their state of residence.

Source: palmbeachpost.com, "LATEST: Parents lose custody of kids due to low IQ", Chelsea Todaro, Aug. 1, 2017

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