You'd think this would be a moot issue at this point, since the call that provoked the raid - allegedly made by a 16-year-old girl reporting abuse by her 49-year-old husband - has turned out to be a fake. But, yesterday, a Texas judge ruled that all 416 children will stay with the state, and their parents will have to submit to DNA testing, undergo psychiatric evaluations, and agree to some sort of safety plan before the State will considering returning the children.
ABC News reported earlier this week that CPS planned to argue that the ranch is one household, presumably so that the finding of one instance of abuse would allow the removal of all 416 children. I don't know whether that happened, but it seems likely given the speed with which the court ruled on the custody of so many children.
True, I don't like the idea of polygamy or the thought of 16-year-old girls marrying men who could be their fathers. And reports of the "lost boys" of FLDS are not too savory either. Still, it's far from clear to me, in my admittedly extremely limited knowledge, that the "best interests" of these children mandate wholesale removal and placement in a Child Protective Services system that doesn't have a great track record even when it's not scrambling to deal with the sudden influx of over 400 children.