Last year, parental rights activists enjoyed a victory as a court case between a family accused, without their knowledge, of medical child abuse, resulting in the removal of their child from their custody by Texas Child Protective Services, was finally dismissed.
Unfortunately, the story hasn’t ended for the family, who remain to this day on the state’s “Child Abuse Registry.”
Last year, CPS, illegally removed Daniel and Ashley Pardo’s son, Drake—who has been plagued with developmental problems—from their home, citing undisclosed “medical child abuse.”
The case went viral, making headlines and serving as an example of the state of the broken agency and a rallying cry for parental rights activists nationwide. CPS would eventually admit in court that they had not met the entirety of the requirements needed for a child’s removal before separating Drake from his family. In October of 2019, the Texas Supreme Court forced CPS to return Drake to his home and family. Shortly thereafter, in December of 2019, the case against the Pardo parents was finally dismissed.
More than nine months later, however, the event continues to haunt the Pardo family. Their placement on the state’s Child Abuse Registry, despite the case’s dismissal, is a setback that carries serious consequences for those placed on the list.
According to Texas Home School Coalition:
Fact 1: Placement on the registry is life-altering. Being listed on it as a child abuser stays on a family’s record, shows up on background checks, and can prevent them from obtaining employment or even from volunteering at their child’s school or church activities.
Fact 2: CPS has the power to place innocent families on the Child Abuse Registry, even if they were never found guilty of abuse or neglect. Innocent families like the Pardos are placed on the registry completely at the whim of CPS right alongside people who commit horrible crimes against their children, such as starving, beating, torturing or killing them.
No judge is involved in the drastic decision.
The family’s legal counsel is now challenging CPS’ decision to list them as “child abusers.”
An initial appeal of the decision to place them on the registry was denied.
Tim Lambert, the president of Texas Home School Coalition, says the action was “egregious” and “vindictive.”
“With the help of our members and our supporters we are once again paying for legal counsel for family as they appeal this decision,” said Lambert.
To that end, Texas Home School Coalition is working on a legal challenge to remove the Pardos from the registry, and encouraging citizens to take action by contacting Gov. Greg Abbott and lawmakers and demanding they speak up and take action.
Additionally, they are soliciting donations to help cover the Pardo’s legal defense fund.