UPI: Ministry will seek custody of cult children

From XFamily - Children of God

Ministry will seek custody of cult children



The provincial human resources ministry Thursday will seek custody of 10 children seized in February from parents who had past affiliations with the religious cult the Children of God.

The children, ranging in age from seven months to seven years, belong to four sets of parents, all of whom insisted in interviews they have not had any connection with the cult since 1978.

Two of the families were visiting the home in a Vancouver suburb when six social workers and RCMP officers came to apprehend the children in response to a report of abuse.

Two young babies taken into custody were returned to the parents shortly after the apprehension but ten remained under foster care.

The children were apprehended three days after the son of a woman who once lived in the Richmond home was taken into custody by provincial officials acting on a complaint the boy had been abused. By law, the ministry is not allowed to identify the complainant.

Jane Grafton, assisting the parents' lawyer David Hart, said the parents were told the ministry of human resources "would be seeking custody for a year on the grounds that the children are in need of protection."

"The ministry still has not explained why the children were seized," said Ms. Grafton. "There has been an allegation (from the ministry) that the parents are members of Children of God, inferring that these people are bad."

"The ministry has questioned some of the parents about their background but not all of them," she said.