A homeschool family wants Child Protective Services to return their 4-year-old son who the parents say was unfairly removed from their home late last month. CPS accused the parents of medical child abuse.
Drake Pardo was taken into CPS custody on June 20 on the authority of a court-ordered emergency removal the agency obtained after voicing concerns to a judge that the family of Kemp, Texas, missed a CPS-facilitated meeting with a doctor at Dallas Children’s Medical Center, some 45 minutes to over an hour’s drive away.
The family’s lawyers at the Texas Home School Coalition argue that CPS failed to meet the legal requirements for emergency removal and also failed to inform the family of the June 10 meeting with Dr. Suzanne Dakil, a child abuse pediatrician.
Dakil had reached out to CPS with concerns that the Pardo family was seeking unneeded medical treatment for their son, whom they believe has autism and other conditions.
According to court documents obtained by local news outlet inForney.com, CPS asked for the removal based on concerns that Ashley Pardo, Drake’s mother, was “displaying symptoms” of a condition where an individual believes the person he or she is caring for has a physical or mental illness.
Pardo was accused of “exaggerating and lying about [her son’s] symptoms and conditions” and “demanding an unnecessary surgical procedure to place a G-tube.”
Jeremy Newman, director of public policy for the Texas Home School Coalition, told The Christian Post that the CPS cited the family’s failure to attend the June 10 meeting and the ensuing affidavit from Dakil in its request for emergency removal.
Newman said that the family received a notice from CPS on their door on June 7. And on June 20, Drake Pardo was removed from the home without the family being provided an official copy of accusations against them.
In the first week of July, District Judge Mike Chitty issued a temporary order allowing CPS to maintain custody of the child.
Newman, who was present for the hearing, said that the CPS caseworker testified that she never informed the family of the June 10 meeting because of the “aggressive” nature displayed by the family’s lawyer when he refused to travel from Dallas to Houston in order to receive a copy of the allegations against the family.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith