DNA Testing Begins on Children Removed From Polygamist Compound - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/21/08

DNA Testing Begins on Children Removed From Polygamist Compound

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In San Angelo, court ordered DNA testing began Monday on the hundreds of children removed from the polygamist compound, to determine the parents of each child. Figuring out family units has been tough, because of conflicting information about member names and ages, and with so many children of multiple wives reportedly living in the same household. 

During a hearing on Friday, a Texas judge ordered the testing, and ruled all the children removed from the ranch during a raid earlier this month must for now, remain in state custody.   In a hearing Monday, the judge ordered men and women who allege they're parents of children from the compound to report Tuesday to the Schleicher County courthouse for DNA testing.

Amy, a FLDS member says the group "is very determined to do whatever it takes to cooperate and get back our children. We know they are in desperate need of their mothers right now."

State prosecutors argued the sect encourages teenage marriages, and girls as young as 13 were pregnant. The state considered all children living at the compound at potential risk of abuse. Charges the sect members deny. Each child will have individual hearings when the state could set conditions to allow children to return home. But the first step before those hearings will be the DNA testing which could take three or four days. 

Meanwhile, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints launched a public relations campaign Monday with two new web sites. The group says the sites are to "spread the word" about what is happening with the children.

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