After the Texas government kidnapped a child from an innocent family and forced them into a traumatic year-and-a-half-long battle, the Pardos finally have some justice.

In a press release Tuesday, the Texas Homeschool Coalition—a nonprofit that has been involved in fighting for the family—announced that Daniel and Ashley Pardo are cleared of their wrongful placement on the state’s Child Abuse Registry.

The story began in June 2019, when the Texas Child Protective Services showed up to Daniel and Ashley Pardo’s house—unannounced and with armed officers—and illegally took their 4-year-old son, Drake, who had many medical and developmental needs. CPS justified the raid by citing undisclosed “medical child abuse.”

The case went viral, making national headlines and sparking a rallying cry among parental rights activists across the country, and CPS eventually admitted in court that they did not have complete justification to remove Drake from his family.

In October 2019, the Texas Supreme Court forced CPS to let Drake return home, and in December 2019, the case against the Pardos was finally dismissed.

But CPS still tagged the Pardos as “child abusers” on the state’s registry.

“CPS protects thousands of children every year, but they didn’t protect the Pardo family or Drake; they traumatized them,” said Tim Lambert, president of THSC, in a press release. “It is unconscionable that the agency would drop all charges against the family but then keep the family on the Child Abuse Registry anyway.”

The family and THSC fought for months to remove the label, and their appeal was finally granted last week.

“The agency did the right thing by reversing that decision, removing the Pardos from the registry, and finally giving this innocent family a much-needed respite from this traumatic battle,” Lambert said.

Jacob Asmussen

Jacob Asmussen is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard. He attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and in 2017 earned a double major in public relations and piano performance.