Children from San Angelo Arrive in the Permian Basin

Staff Report
NewsWest 9

SAN ANGELO, Texas - Child welfare officials Tuesday have begun moving 437 children of a polygamous sect from a coliseum where they have been held for two weeks. The children will be sent to foster care facilities around the state.

Some of the children have arrived at High Sky Childrens Ranch in Midland.  We don't know how many children but they have arrived at the ranch after leaving the coliseum in San Angelo.

State district Judge Barbara Walther signed an order earlier Tuesday allowing the state to begin moving the children into temporary foster care facilities - group homes or other privately run facilities - while the state completes DNA testing of the 437 children and at least 175 adults and until individual custody hearings can be completed by June.

Some of the guidelines for placements are:

  • Minor mothers will be placed with their babies.
  • Pregnant mothers will be placed in the same placement with minor mothers (and their babies).
  • Children under 12 months will be placed in foster homes together with their siblings who are under 5 years.
  • Every attempt will be made to place siblings together.
  • Boys 8 and older will be placed in the same setting as previously placed older boys.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.