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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

More FLDS Children In Texas State Care Than Thought, Some Canadian Children

Some of those that claimed to be of age when first removed from the YFZ Ranch have now been determined to be underage and in a twist, some may not have mothers in the Texas FLDS compound because they came from Canada.
When the children the Texas FLDS compound were removed because Child Services found that all children at the ranch were at risk for physical or sexual abuse which showed a "pervasive pattern and practice" of underage marriage, some claimed to be adults.

Since the children were removed from the Yearning for Zion Ranch, with some adult women voluntarily going to be with the younger children, Child Protective Services and attorneys have been working non stop to solidify actual birth dates, which has resulted in the knowledge that some of the girls that had previously claimed to be adults have now been correctly classified as juveniles.

As of now, with the corrects made, although not all the ages have been determined, so these numbers will fluctuate, the total number of children being reported as being in state care is at 437, which was previously reported as 416.

Texas state has place at least five of those underage girls, those that are mothers already, with their children in foster care. CPS is making it clear that they will be keeping the teenage mothers with their children as they continue to find placement.

As for the adult mothers, Shari Pulliam who is a CPS spokeswoman says that there are no plans that, "involve placing (adult) mothers with their children."

In Judge Barabara Walther's response to attorney's concerns about not keeping the adult mothers with their younger children, she highlighted CPS' position by saying that, "the mothers had placed their children at risk for abuse in the FLDS setting."

She continued, "The court has ruled the conditions those children were in were not safe for the children. I did not make the facts that got this case into the courts."

With so many attorneys and so many issues, there are quite a few motions being sent to the court, over issues such as the use of the phone lines that were installed at the coliseum, so that the women and older children can communicate with their attorneys and issues private prayer and worship.

Walther has suggested that CPS and the attorneys find a monitor from the mainstream Mormon Church whose presence may be more palatable to the FLDS members than that of a complete outsider.

She also made it clear that only the most serious of issues should be addressed by the court and others should be death with between the attorneys and CPS officials.

In making that point, Walther stated, "I'm not going to monitor what color napkins get handed out, and that's where this is leading."

Canadian Children in Texas State Care.

A new twist has arisen in a case that is already, by far, the largest Child Protection case in America's history, news reports are showing that some of the underage mothers that have been taken into custody, came from Canada.

The Vancouver Sun reports that at least five Canadian women resided at the FLDS compound in Texas, according to Teressa Wall Blackmore, who left the sect nearly two years ago.

She can name five young women sent from Bountiful, B.C. to marry American members of the FLDS, two of which who were married to warren Jeffs, who was recently convicted of two counts of being an accomplice to the rape of a 14-year-old girl and is currently in Arizona awaiting trial on charges of forcing younger age girls into marriage.

No one -- not Blackmore, Canadian government officials, B.C. Attorney-General Wally Oppal or the Texas authorities -- can say exactly how many underage Canadian mothers and children are in protective custody.

Not only are Texas authorities having trouble determining how many Canadians there are, they can't figure out who the children's parents are. Many of the children don't know, won't say or are too young to answer the question, while some of the mothers have refused to say who the children's fathers are.

B.C. Attorney-General Wally Oppal is monitoring this case very closely, and if there are indications that evidence shows crimes committed by British Columbians at home, he will consider sending a member of his staff to Texas.

Among the possible evidence is that underage girls were sent illegally from Bountiful to the Texas compound to become plural wives to older men.

In a case that seems to have more twists and turns than a badly written mystery novel, one thing is abundantly clear, the ramifications of the evidence being presented has not only the media watching, but also officials from other states and countries, as problems long ignored, including, polygamy, underage marriages, and sexual abuse of minors, within the Texas FLDS compound is finally brought to light.

(Note- A correction has been made to the number of children listed above)

[Update] Reader KB just had a great find.... possible shelters for the kids and more logistical problems in how to make sure they are schooled....hard to enroll kids that have no documentation.

Thanks KB !!!!!!!

This is cross posted at Digital Journal and has some very interesting comments.

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