Court says FLDS children were removed illegally

A Texas Appeals court ruled Thursday that the state had illegally seized up to 468 children from their homes at a polygamist ranch in West Texas. According to the NY Times, “The decision abruptly threw the largest custody case in recent American history into turmoil.”

I think the reason the Texas authorities went in and seized the children was valid.

In a statement after the ruling on Thursday, the Department of Family and Protective Services said: “Child Protective Services has one duty: to protect children. When we see evidence that children have been sexually abused and remain at risk of further abuse, we will act.”

The agency said it removed the children “after finding a pervasive pattern of sexual abuse that puts every child at the ranch at risk.” The officials said interviews “revealed a pattern of under-age girls being ‘spiritually united’ with older men and having children with the men.”

There is little doubt these young girls, who are married off, are being abused, whether they realize it or not. And there is little doubt that in a patriarchal society, where one believes one’s children belong to them, incest often happens. I’m sure there are abuses going on.

But if the call received by Texas authorities was a hoax, why did they act? Surely they knew it was going to require some actual PROOF to make this action stand.

It will be interesting to see what comes of this. It’s entirely possible these children will be returned to their FLDS families, and the YFZ Ranch, within ten days.


About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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11 Responses to Court says FLDS children were removed illegally

  1. Erin says:

    I hope they aren’t sent back to the ranch. At least outside of the FLDS some of these kids stand a chance at living a somewhat normal life. If they’re sent back, they’re just being condemned to a life of abuse and misery.


  2. Cele says:

    It will be interesting to see if they just send back the boys. Having pregnant young teen girls is proof enough they have been mistreated, to send back younger girls and babies would be courts flaunting their disregard for this proof. But pregnant young girls does not mean little boys have been abused.(serious eye rolling here) So they don’t have the solid reason for not sending back the boys.

    I will be very curious to see how this plays out in the next few weeks.


  3. K*tty says:

    Apparently the stickler is that not all of the families were polygamist. (Big time Smile) The court is ruling on the taking of all the children, when maybe some proof was lacking. The situation is way out of hand, and Texas looks at those 400+ children as a big, big problem. After all, Texas has their own children that need to be adopted and put into foster care. They are overwhelmed. The problem is that it should have been stopped from the get go instead of looking the other way. Like when people hire the polygamists because they work hard and reasonable. Some work for cash so they can still collect from US. In a certain part of Utah, there is a Supposedly good Mormon stake president who is buying up the small town and he is able to do this, because of the many polygamists that he hires. He is in it for the money and he looks the other way at their life-style, like so too many. We have property for sale there and he would be the last person I would sell to. It is like trying to fix what was once a trickle in the dam, to a full blown flood. I just wonder how far religious freedom in this country needs to be tolerated, when it goes against the law of the land.


  4. azteclady says:


    Seriously, this sucks bad.


  5. I would love for the Texas authorities to prosecute criminals on a case by case basis. They screwed up by riding in posse-style and rounding up everyone without evidence that each individual parent was a criminal or endangering their children. You just can’t arrest people because they belong to a religious group.


  6. sleepyinsaudi says:

    I agree with Jonathan above. I think texas social sevices bit off more than they can chew. They are already overburdened. unfortunately it is the kids and young adults that will be traumatized by this. And who will be there to pick up the pieces? The state?The FLDS? Boy talk about a lose -lose situation.

    Now, O/T, but Ntalee I’d love to hear your opinion on the possibility of mitt Romney being McCains running mate. Boy the money would just come pouring in wouldn’t it?


  7. T.B. says:

    Texas stepped in it when they seized those children without proof. Still it beats having another Waco tragedy.

    War, floods, earthquakes, killer storms and now lock-step Republicans?! Fuck it . . . I quit!


  8. Renee says:

    Now Mark Shurtleff looks “smart” for keeping his nose out of the FLDS business for the most part. That’s the part that sucks – you know some of these kids were in a bad situation and now the parents that put them in a situation that is bad are getting a lot of sympathy.

    As far as the commenter with the Mitt Romney running mate thing – if McCain picks him and they win, I am MOVING TO CANADA. ‘Nuff said.


  9. Stephen says:

    Renee, are you sure we will let you in?


  10. Renee says:

    What, no room for someone who is tired of George Bush? Plus, my Grandpa was Canadian. I’m thinkin’ that qualifies me for some friends up north.


  11. Heather Cook says:

    Canada may not have you… some of us love George Bush up here in Canada! I know I do… 🙂

    But it really depends where you want to move. The parts of Canada with the highest rates of social assistance are all liberal (aka Democrat) and the parts that are self-sufficient and want less governemtn are all conservative (aka Republican).


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