May 30th, 2008
07:44 PM ET

Returning the children, with conditions

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/30/art.polygamy.jpg]
Ismael Estrada
AC360° Producer

So how does the state give the kids back?

This morning Judge Barbara Walther asked for all the players to join in court today. A 2pm "conference" to decide how the court will abide by the Texas Supreme Court's decision to essentially give the FLDS kids back to their families.

The court was packed this afternoon as attorneys, FLDS mothers, and media filled the seats. All waiting to hear how this would all be resolved.

The state drafted up some language on how to return the children, with guidelines. Some of those proposals:

•Child Protective Services (CPS) must be allowed on and off the YFZ ranch for unannounced visits.
•Parents must take parenting classes.
•Children are not allowed to leave the state.
•Specific definitions of what the word "home" is..to avoid prior confusion about dwellings on the ranch.
•Kids are supposed to be picked up by their parents starting Monday morning.

All the details of these and other stipulations are being worked out as many of the attorneys are stating concerns and questions like: What about those children whose parents have yet to be identified?

The proceedings continue...

Filed under: FLDS court hearing • Ismael Estrada • Polygamy
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Kathy

    Some of the requirements seem a little ridiculous. Giving these mothers parenting classes would be like giving Andre Agassi tennis lessons. From what I've seen and read, these mothers are stay at home moms who spend most of their time caring for their children. I mean, how many mothers in the US these days have time to bake home made whole wheat bread for their kids? These women were brought up to be mothers; its all they know. I don't think parenting classes are what these people need. Maybe a strong dose of reality?

    June 1, 2008 at 2:41 am |
  2. Money talks

    This whole issue comes down to one thing. They know what is happening in these types of settlements, not just in Texas but all the other state FLDS inhabit. Money talks, the state is not going to be able to pay for the overwhelming burden of all these children. We already pay heavily for these polygamist to have kid upon kid upon kid. ITS CALLED WELFARE.

    May 31, 2008 at 6:31 pm |
  3. elguapo

    I can't believe people here mistake sincerity with ignorance. Those who are sincere with justice would have gotten their facts straight before taking children away from their mothers at gunpoint, without charges or evidence. The State of Texas went out of their way labeling their parents child molesters/abusers when the only evidence they have is a crank call and the only perpetrator they have in mind has been in jail for years.

    Despite the lack of evidence and the Supreme Court rulings, the judge in charge continues to be defiant and refusing to sign the order, this serves no purpose other than being vindictive and make things more traumatic than it needs to.

    Now we have a bunch of these "sincere" people insisting its best to keep the families apart. I guess they are ignorant of the fact that statistics shows that kids in foster homes are FOUR TIMES likely to die than a home environment and socially damaged when they grow up. These kids are better left with their parents where they eat unprocessed, all natural food, lots of exercises (manual chores) and away from outside influences like drugs and crime.

    I used to think these people are paranoid for distrusting the government. After this, I think I was the one ignorant for trusting the government. What the government of Texas have done is what we would call "acts of terrorism" if committed by foreign countries and rest assured this government will be quick to denounce.

    Unfortunately in American soil, committed by American government, that term does not apply.

    May 31, 2008 at 9:35 am |
  4. gloira

    FLDS will not follow the guidelines. The children are being send back into a cult.

    May 31, 2008 at 7:51 am |
  5. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    To Mike in NYC...................
    You make reference to the plight of underage mothers and their being supported by the white taxpayer. This pales in respect to older adult males being married to girls aged 12 and 13 who are victims of sexual abuse and early pregnancy. There is a difference which is called pedophilia!!
    As to the Move group, you refer to an organization which did have encounters with the police. Police officers are killed in Philadelphia on a regular basis sad to say!! The action taken against them was necessary I will admit, however the activities of religious groups and survivalist elements which are white are for the most part ignored lest the politicos are put in a bad light!!
    As to the Waco situation, the police raid was met with gunfire and officers were casualties!! The photos indicate that the compound was incinerated from within and the innocents met their death due to the maniacal instability of the leadership!!
    The issue isn't about 'anti racist moralizing' as you put it but pedophilia and the LAME response of the state/ national authorities have when the issue is one of a religion issue and the 'believers' have a 'pale' complexion!!

    May 31, 2008 at 5:36 am |
  6. Gary Chandler in Canada

    the State missed some very important conditions!
    * polygamy and 'Warren Jeffs is God' cannot be taught until the 'children' are 18. education to be closely monitored
    * all child labor laws will be enforced
    * hours of labor and minimum wage laws for women and children will be monitored (where are femisists when you need them?)
    * the 'children' will be allowed intramural sports in the surrounding communities
    etc!!! freedom of choice will be enabled!

    May 31, 2008 at 3:21 am |
  7. Becky

    DNA doesn't make a good mom or dad. Loving these children makes a mom and dad. It doesn't matter who the biological mother or father are. Anyone can make children, but to be a mom and dad you MUST love them and I believe with all my heart that these women love not only their biological children, but the other children as well. Look how happy and healthy they were before they were taken. Can we all say that the children in our neighborhoods are that happy??? Can we say that everyone helps each other out in our neighborhoods?? NO WAY!!

    May 30, 2008 at 11:36 pm |
  8. Mike in NYC

    To Janna:

    I see that you are sincere.

    Unfortunately, those that are not are doing a tremendous amount of damage.

    May 30, 2008 at 11:23 pm |
  9. Maggie

    Abuse and ongoing abuse of the chilren were not proven in court. These children and parents have been treated worse than animals and the emotional scars will take a long time to heal. Even in South Chicago or Atlanta young girls have sex and babies at a very young age. Children in South Chicago are forced to attend a hate-mongering, racist church. Does the DHS go after these people who
    abuse children.
    All children should have a clean loving home but that is not reality. Hope peace will come soon for these families.

    May 30, 2008 at 11:04 pm |
  10. Trisha

    If they want those kids back the men in that cult need to go over and take blood tests, how can you give those children back when they are no closer to knowing who their parents really are, and tell me where in american can you walk in anywhere with a picture and say this is my kid with out proof, gesh give me a break here

    May 30, 2008 at 11:04 pm |
  11. Janna

    Mike in NYC- My comment was based in sarcasm with a thought, in the back of my mind, that a few brainwashed FLDS members could possibly decide to check in with news coverage/blogs and realize we ARE sincere.

    May 30, 2008 at 10:48 pm |
  12. Khalilah, Jersey

    I think its beautiful there are humans still left untouched by the secular world.

    May 30, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  13. Khalilah, Jersey

    I can't believe they took the children without concrete evidence. It seems like they doomed their own case.

    May 30, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  14. Mike in NYC

    Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada wrote:

    "This lunacy speaks to a bizarre right given to religious wingnuts, who happen to be white .... Methinks the situation would be rectified if the perps were black. Remember Philadelphia and the dropping of a bomb on their basement enclosure!!"

    I have been pleasantly surprised that most posters in the FLDS threads have refrained from making idiotic race-based allegations.

    Our inner cities are filled with underage, "minority" mothers, many impregnated by adult males and quickly abandoned, living with their offspring on the public (mainly white taxpayer-funded) dole.

    MOVE, the group in Philadelphia which you reference, had a history of violent encounters with the local police. In 1978, a policeman was killed in one of these incidents. The fateful raid in 1985 was carried out under the administration of a black mayor.

    Remember Waco? Federal agents were killed in encounters with the Koresh cult, and the response incinerated 80 people, most of whom were white. They fared much worse than MOVE.

    Kindly spare white Americans your sanctimonious "anti-racist" moralizing.

    May 30, 2008 at 10:24 pm |
  15. Annie Kate

    Setting guidelines in court is easy but how are they going to enforce those guidelines. I think the mothers and the children will either leave the state or be more uncooperative than they already are. The court has made the job of the CPS extremely difficult to do effectively on this case. I just hope in the end that the children aren't the ones that wind up suffering for it.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    May 30, 2008 at 9:18 pm |
  16. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    So 6 of the judicial Supreme clowns of the Supreme Court of the Asylum of Texas have chosen to send young girls and boys back to sexual deviation!! This lunacy speaks to a bizarre right given to religious wingnuts, who happen to be white, by state and national policy that precludes legal enforcement of a child's physical wellbeing. Meanwhile the 'Stepford' wives retain their psychotic glow facially!! Sadly, it appears we have the same situation in an area up here called Bountiful!! Methinks the situation would be rectified if the perps were black. Remember Philadelphia and the dropping of a bomb on their basement enclosure!! A sad statement on the idiocy of religion and the freak shows that are allowed to propagate!!

    May 30, 2008 at 8:41 pm |
  17. Mike in NYC

    Janna wrote:

    "For a bunch of evil outsiders, we sure do care greatly about the welfare of the innocent children, don’t we?"

    Maybe you should be given the benefit of the doubt, with the assumption that you really do care about the children, unlike many of the pontificating persuasion who seem to be concerned mainly with their own moral self-image.

    That being said, the outrage taps have clearly been opened to “maximum” in these FLDS threads.

    May 30, 2008 at 8:29 pm |
  18. molly

    I have to admit I haven't been following this story, so I don't know if this is already known by everyone who has been, but I would like to know how/if the court has determined through DNA testing who the parents are of each child. How will they know that the husband isn't the one picking them up? This is crazy that we even have to waste our time thinking about this terrible behavior when there are much more pressing issues facing our nation today.

    May 30, 2008 at 8:23 pm |
  19. Janna

    and if they do not follow the guidelines? Can the state take custody again?.......providing they can locate the children, of course, which is unlikely without constant surveillance
    Thanks for keeping us updated. For a bunch of evil outsiders, we sure do care greatly about the welfare of the innocent children, don't we?

    May 30, 2008 at 8:13 pm |
  20. Cindy

    Well the court set guidelines but who says the FLDS will go by them? Once they get their kids back they can leave the state and be hid away in one of their many "safe" houses or go to Canada and they will never be found. Which is what I bet happens.

    May 30, 2008 at 7:57 pm |