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Homeschooling used as excuse to remove children from home

A decision of a Duncanville family to home-school their children has resulted in a dispute with state officials.  Though there were no allegations of abuse or neglect on the part of the parents, the children were nevertheless removed from the home.

The parents have adopted three children, were in the process of adopting two other children, and have four biological children.  The parents were reported to Child Protective Services, however, after a four-year-old in their care with autism wandered away.  Though an investigation by the CPS reported no problems at the home, the CPS officer apparently did not approve of the mother's decision to stay home with the children. 

An ex-parte hearing was scheduled in Dallas District Court without either parent being informed. The judge hearing the matter then ordered that the children be removed from their home. While the CPS officer who investigated the case was also not present, this individual claimed in an affidavit that the children were in immediate danger.

Though the parents were not accused of abuse or neglect, the guardian ad litem appointed by the court claimed the children were insufficiently educated. The guardian ad litem also had said that no recommendation that the children be returned to the parents would be made unless an agreement was made that the children be placed in public school.

On January 7, a judge finally agreed that the children should not be removed and that the children should be returned to their parents. However, a determination concerning the education of the children is still forthcoming.

The outcome of guardianship matters should generally be based upon what is in the best interest of the children.  Deciding what this is, however, is not always simple.  Family law attorneys are there to help make a party's case when these determinations need to be made.

Source: The Washington Times, "Texas Judge keeps family apart for two months over homeschooling," April Thompson, Jan. 9, 2014

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