May 16th, 2008
01:36 PM ET

Confusion Still Surrounds FLDS Children

David Mattingly
360° Correspondent

Why did the state have to take all of the kids when it raided the polygamous sect's ranch in West Texas?  Come Monday, the state of Texas will have to start explaining itself one child at a time as these 400-plus custody cases go before judges in San Angelo.  Frustrations abound in this case.  Families say many of the girls in custody who are pregnant or have already given birth are actually adults.  State investigators say they continue to get conflicting information when they ask about ages and try to match kids to their biological parents.  Attorneys representing the kids say the state won't give them the information they need.  No one is happy and no one has any idea how all this will end.  Judges start to try and make sense of it all on Monday when each mother and father begin to find out what the state says they will have to do if they want to get their children back.

Filed under: David Mattingly • FLDS court hearing • FLDS update • Polygamy
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. carrie miller

    beware catholics could be next required to be baptisted before age of consent to a lifetime of parents chosen cult also gilrs aged 7 required to walk dressed in white to be bride to christ and proclaim their love to jesus whats your prospective

    May 19, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  2. Armando

    I am a lawyer and am appaled at how the State of Texas has behaved in this case. People here in the US have a Consitiutional right to rasie their children as they wish, without interference by the State. For example, there is a Supreme Court decision protecting the right of Amish parents in Pennsylvania to stop their children's education after the 8th grade. Many peiople–myself included–don't agree with this Amish custom. But the fact of the matter is that these parents have the right to make this decision. Unless there is PROVEN child abuse by the FLDS parents, the State of Texas ought to leave them alone!

    May 18, 2008 at 6:11 am |
  3. Jared

    Riddle me this...How many of those "law enforcement" officials, including those from Texas CPS are Mormons?

    Isn't it obvious as yet?

    May 16, 2008 at 11:48 pm |
  4. Mike in NYC

    Cindy wrote:

    "I mean if they are abusing one chances are they are abusing them all. "

    King Solomon you ain't.

    Annie Kate wrote:

    "Everyone in this case with the possible exception of the men seems to be a victim."

    Such a "discriminating" analysis.

    May 16, 2008 at 10:43 pm |
  5. Lynn Dee Bolden

    Does everyone in the FLDS have the same last name? Seems like everyone has the same last name Jessop.

    May 16, 2008 at 10:42 pm |
  6. Annie Kate

    I hope that the judge can make sense of all this and in setting out what the parents need to do to get their children back can improve not only the children's lives but the lives of their mothers as well. Everyone in this case with the possible exception of the men seems to be a victim.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    May 16, 2008 at 9:01 pm |
  7. Jolene

    David: It should prove to be quite interesting on Monday when these cases go before the judges. I'm curious as to what exactly the criteria will be for these parents to get their children back. Sounds like it will be a long, drawn out process which I'm sure contributes to everyone's frustration. Unfortunately, the longer it drags on, the more fatiqued people will get on this story. I sure hope that it wasn't all in vain and that after all the cases are reviewed, abuse does get uncovered. Thanks for the update!

    Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    May 16, 2008 at 6:57 pm |
  8. Denise in Texas

    It is not about the money – it's about the children and the current abuse they face daily and potential abuse they face as they are raised in the FLDS culture. I do not like the fact that these children were taken from their Mothers, but to stop the abuse cycle that is what had to be done. I do wish there had been some way to take the Fathers into custody and leave the Mothers and Children together. The Fathers are the abusers – physically, mentally and sexually.

    May 16, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  9. Mike in NYC

    Say what you want about their religion and lifestyle, these people were amazingly productive.

    They were skilled enough to build their homes with their own hands in a very short time. They had three-story log cabins, farms, a dairy and workshops.

    They paid $424,000 in property taxes last year - 18 percent of the county's annual revenue, and the FLDS has apparently never sought tax-exempt status in Texas or in the other SW states where it operates.

    The county's chief executive said that, as far as he knows, they paid their tax bill on time and without complaint.

    Not your typical welfare cheats, I'd say.

    May 16, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  10. Cindy

    I can see why they took all of the kids. I mean if they are abusing one chances are they are abusing them all. But it is going to be very hard for the state to explain this one! Especially for the kids who have no visible signs of abuse or aren't married or pregnant.

    May 16, 2008 at 1:55 pm |