I had wanted to keep this blog limited to discussing specific aspects of life in the FLDS communities that have been misunderstood, or sensationalized by mainstream media. However, this "situation" has made it's way into the news in the last two days and it has me terribly confused. So I thought I'd reach out here for a little clarity.
Let me lay out what I understand to be "the facts", first;
1. Last April, when the children were taken from YfZ Ranch, this particular young lady was sixteen, almost 17 years old. (Her birthday is in August)
2. She was pregnant. Her baby was born, full term, (no one has said otherwise), in June.
3. The mother retained custody of the baby and they were released together with all of the other children.
4. So, since no one knows the precise length of gestation for this particular baby, it is a fair assumption that she became pregnant right around the time she turned 16.
5. Legal custody of this young lady has been retained by Texas CPS since last April.
6. I haven't seen a reason stated for having retained custody, although I am guessing it s because of her age when she got pregnant. CPS is probably making a claim that her parents failed to protect her.
7. CPS is alleging, apparently based on information from the "Bishop's list", that she was "married" at age 14.
8. The baby that was born has never been alleged to be a 'victim'. CPS did not retain custody of the baby. Since they publicly acknowledge having non-suited all but two of the children, including this young lady, and we know Merrianne is the other, there is no CPS involvement with the baby.
9. There is no basis for them getting involved. There has been no accusation of abuse or neglect. There has been no witnessing of abuse or neglect.
10. CPS retaining legal custody of this young lady is based on her alleged 'victim' status and the alleged inability of her parents to protect her. The baby's well being has never been an issue. Decisions this young lady chooses to make about, or for, her baby has never been the subject of CPS involvement.
So this is where I get confused. CPS want the DNA from the baby to use, potentially, as evidence that a crime has occurred. The mother of the baby refuses to allow CPS to have anything to do with her baby. There are no complaints or allegations concerning this baby's well being that would trigger an investigation. So now they are "creating" a need to investigate, based on them having not had access to the baby.
If a child welfare worker finds out that a young lady in a public high school, who is sixteen, years old, has a baby, and the worker is told the baby's father is much older than the mother, and there are no other complaints, no allegations of mistreatment or neglect, that worker does not have the right to demand to a. see the baby, and b. take a sample of the baby's DNA, for any purpose.
So where is their right to do this with this baby? How do they make the leap that says that not only is their concern and involvement based on the age, and alleged marital status of the young lady, but it now extends to the baby, shifting the mother from 'victim', to potential perpetrator, or 'abusive or neglectful parent'?
Then, because of the reasonable fear this young mother has, based on her own experiences, she defies CPS, and refuses them involvement in her baby's life, they somehow use this refusal as 'prima facia' evidence of neglect?
And they are still hell-bent on collecting DNA, which I can't figure out how they have a right to?
If, as a parent, I choose to allow one of my children to live with a responsible friend or relative, for whatever reasons, which are mine, and mine alone, I have a right to do so. I can send my child to live in Hong Kong or Istanbul, as long as the people I am giving permission to care for my child are responsible adults and are willing to provide parental care in my stead. The state has no jurisdiction in this private matter. Perhaps I am not capable of caring for my child. I have then made a reasonable alternative choice. It is my right to make that decision for my child.
The state only has the right to step in and investigate when there is an allegation that my child is being abused or neglected as a result of my parenting, or my allowing other circumstances to put my child at risk.
Now, I agree, the ruse of taking in another child for DNA testing was pretty silly, however, it is also, from the perspective of a young mother who herself was mistreated at the hands of CPS, a reasonable response to enormous fear. Perhaps the court needs to take a compassionate view of this young mother. Perhaps the court needs to recognize that, indeed, this young mother is a victim. Not of her lifestyle and community, but rather, of the system that invaded her life.
So, we have a young woman, who is under CPS supervision based on alleged actions of her parents, who has a baby, that is not under CPS care or supervision, that CPS wants to take DNA from, based on a 'suspicion', and the mother doesn't want to allow DNA to b taken, and has voluntarily, perhaps, which is her right, placed her child with a trusted adult for care, and now the court is being asked to evaluate the mental health of the young woman to determine if she is a fit mother?
None of this makes any sense!!!!!!
I've linked the article from 'gosanangelo' below...but it doesn't unmuddy the waters, either...I am really confused!!!!
If anyone can offer any clarity, I would greatly appreciate it!
10 months ago