12 Children Returned to Sect Parents
3 families reunited; not allowed to return to polygamist ranch
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2008 6:00 AM CDT
Members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints talk outside the courthouse after hearing of an appellate court ruling during the fourth day of custody hearings .   (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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(Newser) – Texas has agreed to return a dozen of the children in its custody to their parents, members of the polygamist sect FLDS, but the state is fighting to hang on to hundreds more, the San Antonio Express-News reports. The reunited families won't be allowed to return to the sect's Yearning for Zion ranch but can live in the San Antonio area under state supervision.

An appeals court ruled Thursday that Judge Barbara Walther had exceeded her authority in ordering into foster care every child at the ranch rather than just the teenage girls who might be at risk of being married to older men; about half of the more than 460 children taken from their parents were babies or toddlers.