Sunday, January 31, 2010

Parental Rights Terminated For 13 Children From Alamo Ministries Compound

On Thursday, a Miller County, Arkansas trial judge terminated the parental rights of six members of the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries. Thirteen children from four families are involved. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the children were taken into protective custody by the state in 2008 in an investigation of physical and sexual abuse at the Ministries' compound. (See prior posting.) A judge ruled that parents could be reunited with their children if they moved off church property and found jobs outside the Alamo Ministries so they are not financially dependent on it. (See prior posting.) The parents involve in Thursday's cases failed to move away. More details are unknown because the judge has imposed a gag order barring parents, attorneys and others from speaking to the press about the case. However a spokesperson for a parents rights group says that the rulings are unduly harsh because Ministries leader Tony Alamo is now in prison where he will likely spend the rest of his life. (See prior posting.) Parents say they will appeal Thursday's rulings. Also other appeals of removal of various of the children from the Tony Alamo compound are pending. The Arkansas Department of Human Services said that normally children would not be put up for adoption until all the appeals have been resolved.