Parental Rights Stripped Away By A Broken System – Could You Be Next?

As parents, we have a God-given right to be the primary authority in determining what is best for our children.

But big government has been increasingly encroaching on parental rights in recent years, sometimes blatantly ignoring them altogether.

Because of this agenda, many parents are facing their worst nightmare when the state decides they know what’s best for our children.

By now, every parent has heard the horror stories – child services departments and the courts ripping children from their homes without warning.

It sounds like a scenario that could never happen in a free nation, but as government agencies gain power, parents are losing more and more of their rights.

These agencies were put in place to protect children from true cases of abuse and neglect, but in many instances, children are taken from loving homes.

This most often occurs when children are homeschooled because they don’t agree with the “mandated agenda” being thrust upon our children in public schools, or in cases where a child has a medical issue and parents want to make decisions for their child that don’t necessarily mesh with those of doctors.

One family is going through an agonizing ordeal because they have been flagged by state government officials for both of the above reasons.

Drake Pardo is a four-year-old homeschooler in Texas.  He has also had several medical problems over the years.

Drake has had problems eating, is thought to be autistic, and has even undergone brain surgery.  

His parents have thousands of pages of medical records showing the lengths they’ve gone to in order to provide Drake with the best medical care possible.

But in April of this year, Ashley and Daniel Pardo filed a complaint with Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.

Their son’s physician had admitted Drake, then didn’t meet with the family for days at a time while he was in the hospital.

When the family finally saw the doctor, he disagreed with the parents’ request to get a second opinion about a feeding treatment for their son.

Doctors are not infallible, and it is every patient’s right to look at all their options and get another opinion when they have questions about treatment.

But when the Pardos disagreed with the doctor – and because homeschooling families are often under scrutiny anyway – they were reported for “medical negligence.”

On June 20th, the Pardos were visited by Child Protective Services and local police and were forced to turn their son over to the state’s custody.

While we may have the naïve idea that this was some kind of horrible mistake or misunderstanding that could be quickly resolved so that Drake could come home, that is far from the case.

Ashley and Daniel Pardo have been fighting in Texas family court, but they have been met with resistance and roadblocks, despite no proof of neglect or abuse against any of their three children – even though the parents have records showing they have followed every medical recommendation in the past.

Most states recognize the authority of parents to make medical decisions for their children, unless they are proven unfit to do so in a court of law.  But Texas does not recognize this precedent.

Drake has lost more weight while in state care, but CPS caseworkers have argued that he is receiving the recommended care while in their custody.

The parents have failed to receive any explanation for the kidnapping of their son – not a smidgen of proof from CPS that the Pardos don’t have their son’s best interests at heart.  Nothing but refusal to send their son home.

The Texas Homeschool Coalition is fighting for the Pardos and all homeschooled children who are ripped from their homes for ridiculous reasons.

The group’s President, Jim Lambert, says that this case is just one symptom of a greater disease, and that the Pardos are involved in an “egregious miscarriage of justice.”

“CPS is broken. It is systemic and there needs to be real change in this system. That is the message we have for the governor and other legislators,” according to LifeSite News.

Ashley and Daniel Pardo saw their rights further eroded during one court date when a judge granted CPS up to a year of custody of Drake because the parents “missed” a mandatory meeting.

A meeting that a CPS caseworker said – under oath — that she intentionally failed to tell the parents about because she didn’t like the tactics of the Pardos’ lawyer.

Then CPS created a medical treatment plan for Drake – something that is supposed to be agreed upon by all parties involved – and demanded the parents accept it.

CPS had an outside doctor testify in court and believed that her report confirmed that the child should have been removed from the home.

But when Dr. Suzanne Dakil of the hospital’s unit that researches abuse cases testified in court, the doctor stated that she had not recommended Drake’s removal, nor did she feel he was in a state of immediate medical danger.

Instead, when she received his medical records from the original physician, she did not even have – or read – everything necessary to make a judgement.  She also said that while she had some questions on the matter, they could not be answered until she met with the parents.

A meeting that never happened.

Perhaps most unbelievable of all, CPS workers admitted in court that they had no proof of wrongdoing by the Pardos, nor had they tried to work with them to resolve concerns.

Even then, the judge approved CPS’ request that a gag order be placed on the Pardos.  They face jail time if they discuss the case in public, even though they have experienced the worst injustice imaginable.

Drake is still in the custody of CPS with limited visitation extended to his parents, and there are dozens of other cases in Texas eerily similar to that of the Pardos.

Texas CPS agencies have been accused of using children in their care for drug trials, and the health of multiple children is said to have deteriorated while in state custody.

Jim Lambert is encouraged that the Dallas Court of Appeals has stepped in to hear the case.

But, in true fashion, CPS caseworkers are demanding that the Pardos admit to wrongdoing in order to get their son back.  Of course, this would continue a vicious cycle in which the custody of their other kids would be in jeopardy.

Even the appeals court judge called CPS’ demands ridiculous, so there is hope that the Pardos will finally see justice and an end to their nightmare.

Homeschool legal defense groups are reminding parents that if they are ever contacted or visited by CPS to contact their local homeschool advocacy group and an attorney immediately – and do not give CPS any information.

Mommy Underground will keep you updated on any developments in the Pardos’ case.

What do you think of this tragic miscarriage of justice?  Leave us your comments.