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Family believes CPS victimized them, their 13 children

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Old July 10th 08, 08:26 PM posted to alt.support.child-protective-services,alt.support.foster-parents,alt.dads-rights.unmoderated,alt.parenting.spanking
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Default Family believes CPS victimized them, their 13 children

Family believes CPS victimized them, their 13 children

CBS 42 Reporter: Nanci Wilson
Last Update: 1:19 pm


The removal of more than 400 children from the FLDS ranch in West Texas
has put child protective services under the microscope.

That case has led others to wonder, if CPS can do that to FLDS children,
can they do that to mine?

A Houston-area family says the same thing happened to them and eight
years later, they are still trying to clear their names.

Gary and Melissa Gates have 13 children. Eleven of them are adopted.
They saw a need of kids from a variety of background needing love and a
stable home. The Gates were shocked when CPS showed up on their doorstep.

The school called CPS when they discovered the Gates, as part of a
disciplinary measure, pinned a baggie with food wrappers inside the
shirt of one of the kids who was caught stealing. It included a two-page
explanation and a name and number of whom to call if there were
questions. The school did make a phone call. It wasn’t to the Gates. I
was to Child Protective Services.

Hours later, Gary Gates was shocked to find CPS workers in his home

He said, "That opened my eyes to a whole new way of government."

Gates asked the CPS caseworkers to see a search warrant or a court
order: "In my being naïve, I really kinda fell back on this Fourth
Amendment thing. You're kinda raised that you have protection in the home."

Gates says the caseworkers told him they didn’t need a search warrant to
be inside his home. They spent the next several hours interviewing his
children and looking through cabinets and closets.

Gates says, "At the end of that day, six deputies and five CPS officials
came into our house and removed all 13 children."

Although the investigation stemmed from an allegation of emotional abuse
of only one child, all thirteen of the Gates' children were removed from
their home, loaded into a paddywagon and taken to foster homes. The
removal was done without a court order, under what's called an
'emergency removal.'

The law allows emergency removals only when there is a danger to the
physical health and safety of a child and the need for protection is so
urgent, removal is necessary.

The Gates offered to leave their home and allow their pastor and his
wife to come stay with the children, until they could go before a judge.
Gates says CPS refused.

The weekend was agonizing for the Gates. They had no idea where CPS had
taken their children.

The first thing on Monday morning, the Gates were in Court. He was
stunned to hear how CPS justified the emergency removal.

Gary Gates remembers "The reason they said, later on in court, is well,
we felt Mr. Gates was uncooperative and his uncooperativeness with us,
put the children at risk."

The Judge wasn’t convinced and ordered CPS to return the children
immediately. But, to be safe, he ordered an independent evaluation.

Psychologist Jay Bevan conducted the home study. He wrote a glowing
report about the Gates' parenting and concluded with "I've never said
this about anyone I have ever evaluated. I admire the gates. I would not
hesitate to place my own children in their care."

But according to court records, CPS responded with "Both the department
and CASA have found Dr. Bevans’ report disappointing."

Gates was baffled, "You'd think they'd say, you know, this is great. We
don't need to be involved here. Let us go to somewhere else where there
are some issues. But instead they say, well, we're disappointed and they
have just continued to dig in their heels."

Even though the court dismissed the case against the Gates, CPS
continues to classify them as child abusers in the state's central registry.

"They said, well, we felt you emotionally abused this one child and
since all the kids saw that, that's 13 counts of abuse on those
children. And because your wife didn't stop it, that's 13 counts of
emotional abuse from her."

The Gates were never charged with any crime. Gary Gates says they were
considered guilty based solely on the opinion of a CPS caseworker and
supervisor. Anyone listed the registry cannot adopt children, work in
the child care industry or volunteer in any organization related to
helping children. The Gates say such a system is unconstitutional.

CPS spokesman Chris Van Deusen says the findings are based on the
department's investigation and no court has ever ruled it unconstitutional.

"I haven't heard a lot of complaints. Certainly we go through
administrative reviews and people have those determinations, have those
findings reviewed, but I haven't heard a great deal of complaint about
them," Van Deusen says.

The Gates are certainly complaining. They've spent the last eight years
and about $175,000 trying to get their names removed. They are not
alone. According to the State Office of Administrative Hearings, the
number of parents who have filed appeals has increased 265 percent in
the past two years.

The Gates are also challenging other practices by CPS. They say CPS can
come into your home, search it, and take your children without a warrant
or court order. They say not even the police, sheriff or FBI can do
that. They have spent an additional $350,000 in legal fees, challenging
the constitutionality of it in Federal Court.

The Gates have founded a non-profit organization called the Texas Center
for Family Rights to help other families dealing with CPS. They are
currently helping some of the mothers whose children were removed by CPS
during the raid on the FLDS ranch last April.
Copyright 2008, Four Points Media Group LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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