The Rembis family at a ball park during happier days before CPS got involved in their lives. Photo from family.
by Health Impact News/Medical Kidnap.com Staff
As the Rembis family continues to fight for their children seized by Texas CPS on August 24 from Colorado, more information is coming to light which reveals a pattern of harassment and absurd accusations against the large homeschooling family. William and Claire Rembis were in family court on Wednesday and Thursday, September 7-8, and the case will continue to be heard on Tuesday, September 13. Many of the allegations are things which many Americans would consider a normal part of family life, especially for homeschool or “crunchy” families who tend toward more natural, holistic values.
Claire reports to Health Impact News that she had hoped it would all be over this week and her children would be returned home:
It’s an eternity without the kids.
Her husband William feels the same way. He reports:
The kids cry while begging to come home. Several have reported abuse [which is happening in foster care]. Their hearts are hurting and so are ours.
Claire misses the music. Many of the children sing and play music, like these two playing their mother’s cello. “It’s too quiet now.” Source: Rembis family
See story here of the children being taken from a friend’s home they were visiting in Colorado in late August:
The CPS case against the Rembis family was opened in May when a neighbor called CPS and reported that one of the children had wandered off. The child was quickly retrieved from the front yard by an older sibling, but the neighbor woman had already called the police. When the police investigated and found no reason to pursue any further action, she reportedly called CPS. This was the incident that started the ball rolling which resulted in the children being seized from their family on August 24.
Bizarre Accusations – No Deodorant?
After their first day of court on Wednesday, Claire and William reported that they were accused in court that they “don’t let the kids use deodorant because it causes cancer.”
While it is unclear how deodorant or lack thereof could be construed as a reason for children being in foster care and separated from their parents, the allegation is false. The Rembis family makes their own homemade deodorant, and sometimes uses Tom’s of Maine deodorant, which doesn’t contain aluminum, an ingredient which has been linked to a number of health problems.
Parents Faulted for Not Taking Healthy Children to Doctor
CPS reportedly accused the family of not taking their children to the doctor because they are afraid of the kids being chipped. Claire reports that it took them a few moments to figure out what exactly they were being accused of. She laughed as she explained to Health Impact News that CPS alleged that they were afraid of their children having a computer chip inserted into their bodies by doctors.
They explained to the court that the reason they rarely go to the doctor is because they don’t need to. Their children, who were breastfed and eat a healthy diet at home, are healthy and rarely need to go to the doctor.
Claire explains that the primary reason for children’s doctor visits is for vaccinations. After one of their children had a severe reaction to the DTaP vaccine in 2003 and almost died, they were advised by their family doctor at the time not to vaccinate any more of their children because of the risk of harm. Because they do not vaccinate, and because the children are healthy, they rarely go to the doctor. It has nothing to do with a fear of “being chipped.”
The parents would like to know how a failure to take healthy children to the doctor is construed by CPS as grounds for keeping their children away from them?
Kids Seen Barefoot – in the Yard, in the Summer, in Texas
Claire reports that several witnesses for CPS testified for the state that they have observed the children playing outside or walking in the alley behind the house with no shoes on.
The Rembis family moved to the house in Lubbock, Texas, at the beginning of May after William got a new job in the area. The children were seized on August 24. These are all warm weather months.
There is currently no law in Texas requiring that children, or adults, wear shoes in their yard. Claire reports that she, herself, often goes outside barefoot.
There was reportedly testimony from neighbors about the children climbing on their playhouse, which is, again, something that children are prone to do. Claire says that the kids all know better than for the little ones to climb too high, and the older ones know to stop them if they try.
The Rembis parents stand accused of having their children dressed in dirty clothes when they play outside. Claire explained that they are not dirty, but stained. There is a difference.
With a large family, hand-me-downs are common. Clothes get stained. Those are the clothes that they use for “play clothes.” They may not look the best, but that is why parents all over the country send children out to play in play clothes. The good clothes are the ones that they use for going out and about.
5 of the 6 Rembis girls. Source: Rembis family.
No Boxes of Microwave Ready Foods
When CPS accused them of not having food in the house, William was able to explain that, no, they don’t have a lot of processed foods in their freezer or pantry, but they do have whole foods. He works in the restaurant industry, and Claire is a stay-at-home homeschool mom. They cook meals from scratch.
We have INGREDIENTS, not boxes of microwavable stuff.
Allegations that Children Eat out of the Dumpster
When the Rembis parents first heard this allegation, they were incredulous. CPS reported that neighbors said they saw the children eating food out of the dumpster. The children have been BY the dumpster in the alley behind their house, because they have taken the garbage out. On the night before the family went to Colorado, specifically, William recalls several of the children accompanying him as he took trash out to the dumpster.
As Health Impact News has previously reported, CPS canvassed the neighborhood shortly after the Rembis family moved in, asking for neighbors to report anything.
Claire reports that one of her neighbor’s gave this card to her. Image provided by Rembis family.
It is unclear at this point whether the accusations from the neighbors are intentional misrepresentations or if they saw the children taking out the trash and misread the situation because they were alerted to watch for suspicious activity by CPS. Could it simply be that the neighbor saw a child eating a snack from the house as he or she accompanied a sibling or their dad to take the garbage out? Is this more about the power of suggestion than about facts?
Race Plays a Role
One of the neighbors reportedly told the court that one of the Rembis children, Pocahontas, had played by the dumpster so much that her skin was so dirty that it was dark. She described her “poofy hair.”
Claire, who is representing herself pro se in court, asked if the witness realized that she is partly black.
The 11 children are all the biological children of Claire and William Rembis. While the parents and some of the children are fairly light-skinned, some of the children are darker. This is genetic. Claire’s father is a mixture of Native American, white, and black.
Pocahontas isn’t “dirty” from playing by the dumpster, nor is her hair “poofy” from neglect. It is in her genes. The witness apparently didn’t take the time to get to know anything about her neighbors before making accusations not based in fact.
Need for Court-Appointed Attorney Used Against Them
Many families whose children are taken by child protective services tell Health Impact News that they have a court-appointed attorney in their case, because, unlike the government with seemingly unlimited funds to draw from, families raising their children often don’t have thousands of dollars to hire an attorney. Some families who do hire attorneys to help them fight can pay tens of thousands of dollars or more. Retainer fees and hourly fees can run into huge amounts quickly for families who would otherwise be paying for braces, schoolbooks, clothes and toys, or saving for college.
Nonetheless, the attorney for CPS, whose salary is paid by taxpayers, allegedly used the fact that William Rembis has a court-appointed attorney against him. The attorney reportedly asked him how he could afford to take care of his children if he couldn’t afford an attorney.
Claire tells Health Impact News that they are a Christian family, and they firmly believe the Scriptures which say that God will provide for all of their needs. They have seen over and over again where God causes things to work out financially, even when it doesn’t look like it should on paper.
Obviously William’s job has provided for the family, but they have seen times where people have stepped in from out of nowhere to help out when there is a need. Somehow, it has always worked out and a way is always provided even when it looks like there is no way. Many people call that faith. Dealing with CPS is, as any family will testify, a financial hardship on the family.
Financial hardship is not the same as neglect. Can the state use economic status as a justification for taking someone’s children?
Long Hair Is A Problem to CPS
Two of the Rembis boys have long hair. One of the boys has been growing his hair out for a long time intentionally because he wants to donate his hair to help children with cancer. Part of the reason for their choosing long hair is because they are embracing that part of their Native American heritage. They have always been homeschooled, so it has never been an issue.
Long hair is part of his Native American heritage. He doesn’t want it cut. Source: Rembis family.
Now that CPS has the children in their custody, they are reportedly insisting that the boys’ hair be cut in order for them to be enrolled into public school. Claire, who was raised going to powwows and was always around Native American culture, laments the time in history when Native Americans were seized from their tribes and sent to boarding schools to be “civilized.” The first thing they did to the boys was to cut their hair. Now CPS allegedly wants to do that to her sons.
CPS Wants to Vaccinate the Children
Social workers are allegedly demanding that the children be vaccinated so that they can be placed into public school.
Besides the fact that the parents do not want their children in public school, they don’t want them to be vaccinated. One of their children had a severe reaction to a vaccine, and thus has a medical exemption.
The state of Texas allows vaccine exemptions for medical, religious, or philosophical reasons. Thus, it should not be difficult to enroll the children into school because the parents want them exempted from vaccines for a number of reasons.
How You Can Help
There is a Facebook page set up for the family called The Rembis Family.
The family is financially devastated. They need immediate financial assistance. They need support and prayer and local advocates. They also need to hire a private attorney.
Health Impact News has set up a new page to help families like this one:
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