Family Law

Texas Judge Takes Tots from 'Too Old' Grandparents, Age 59 and 52

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Yolanda and Arnold Del Bosque have taken care of their 1- and 2-year-old grandchildren since they were infants.

But a Texas judge said at a hearing last month that the state should take the tots away from them, reports the Houston Chronicle. His order put the children into foster care with strangers and makes them available for adoption by another couple.

“The judge’s ruling, which Child Protective Services argued against, wasn’t prompted by any allegations of abuse or neglect, but apparently in large part by his belief that the Del Bosques, who are in their 50s, are too old to be parents,” the newspaper writes. A court transcript quotes Juvenile Court Judge John Phillips as saying that the two boys would need counsel and guidance in their teens and as young adults, and the “stark reality” is that their grandparents likely “will be dead at that time.”

Yolanda Del Bosque, 59, who works at an elementary school cafeteria, and her husband, 52, who is a retired truck driver, are trying to appeal the judge’s ruling.

However, “the Del Bosques’ prospects for getting the kids back aren’t rosy,” the Chronicle says. “Although they threw a barbecue benefit to pay for an attorney, the money quickly ran out—but not before Judge Phillips blocked the attorney’s attempts to intervene in the case and request a jury trial, despite the fact that both requests were timely filed.”

While officials tell the newspaper that other significant factors played a role in the removal of the children, it appears that these factors came to light only after the judge made his views about the Del Bosques’ age known, the Chronicle says in an article labeled as commentary.

Attorney Barbara Stalder of the University of Houston’s legal aid clinic took on the Del Bosques’ case this week. “When you have glowing reports about these individuals, who they’ve had more than a year to evaluate, and then at the eleventh hour, you’ve got these other allegations being thrown in there, I’m sorry, it’s a smokescreen,” she tells Lisa Falkenberg, a Chronicle columnist.

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