Sect Moms Say Kids Scarred
State blasted ahead of ruling on whether it had right to take custody
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2008 12:39 PM CDT
In this artist sketch Caroline Jessop, front in pink, is shown during a custody hearing in the courtroom of State District Judge Jay Weatherby, rear, Monday, May 19, 2008, in San Angelo, Texas.   (AP Photo/Brigitte Woosley)
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(Newser) – Taking young children away from their parents has harmful effects, say mothers from the polygamist sect in Texas, and numerous studies agree—which is why federal and state guidelines require a “reasonable effort” to keep children with their parents before removing them. Texas authorities don't appear to have done so, mothers and experts say, in taking 468 children from YFZ ranch, the New York Times reports.

Now lawyers are lambasting Texas, saying it violated parents’ due process with mass custody hearings, and should have used less-draconian methods. “They made no effort to keep the children there at the ranch,” said one parenting advocate. “They’ve really botched this.” Some suggest the state should only have removed teenagers, leaving toddlers who weren’t in imminent danger.