Part of the Schwab family during a visit. Photo source: Free the Schwab Children Facebook page.

by Health Impact News/ Staff

Raymond and Amelia Schwab didn’t know what to expect when they went into a Kansas courtroom on Tuesday, August 15, 2017. The Colorado couple has been fighting to get their children back since the Department for Children and Families (DCF) seized custody of them in April 2015. During that time, they have been told that their parental rights would be terminated, that their children would be returned home, and everything in between.

It has been an emotional roller coaster, and 5 of their 6 children have been in foster care for more than 2 years. (Their oldest son was 19 when his younger siblings were taken and therefore avoided foster care.)

Raymond Schwab (also known as Seraphim), an honorably discharged Navy veteran, and his wife Amelia took to Facebook Live with an update for thousands of their followers, many of whom have been praying for their children to be returned to the family.

The update was a mixture of good news and bad news – the children are supposed to be returned home, just not immediately. They were told that the children should be home by Christmas.

Children Seized Over False Allegations, Which Turned into a Battle over Medicinal Cannabis

The Schwabs have always maintained that their children should never have been taken from them in the first place. As we reported in our original coverage of their story, there were false allegations made against the homeschooling parents. By July 10, less than 3 months after the children were taken, DCF knew that the allegations were unsubstantiated.

See original story, which contains the Notice of Department Findings of the unsubstantiated allegations:

Navy Dad Goes on Hunger Strike in Kansas Until State-Kidnapped Children are Returned or He Starves to Death


Amelia and Raymond Schwab during a Hunger Strike in March 2016. Photo source: Schwab family.

But by then, the ball was already rolling, and things were spinning out of control. Most parents who have talked to Health Impact News have told us that once Child Protective Services gets in their lives, it is very difficult to get them out. They have reported that social workers often go on extensive “fishing expeditions,” searching for any little thing that they can use against the parents, creating narratives if no evidence exists that they will use to paint the parents in the worst possible light, so that the state can retain custody of the children.

To see why this happens, see:

Child Kidnapping and Trafficking: A Lucrative U.S. Business Funded by Taxpayers Called “Foster Care”

In the Schwabs’ case, social workers thought they found a winner – medical marijuana, a substance which is illegal in the state of Kansas. But the Schwabs broke no laws.

While the Schwabs were residents of Colorado, Raymond discovered that medical cannabis greatly helped his Post Traumatic Stress and pain that he suffered from his military service. Conventional medications were addictive with many undesirable side effects, and the veteran found the medicinal cannabis treatment to be more effective with less side effects. And it was legal in Colorado.

When Raymond’s job required a move to Kansas, he stopped using the marijuana, because it was illegal there. The family was in the process of moving back home to Colorado when DCF became involved. The allegations against Raymond and Amelia were quickly shown to be untrue, but by then, social workers had discovered that Raymond Schwab used the pot when he was in Colorado.

The whole thing became a civil war of sorts over medical marijuana, even though Raymond never broke the law and never used the substance in Kansas. The children were subjected to abuse and psychotropic drugging in foster care, while Kansas DCS and the courts have continued to drag the case out.

Many of the original players in this long, drawn-out saga are no longer in the picture. Following a federal lawsuit, the caseworkers being sued have been removed from the case.

There is new legal counsel in place as well. Michael Minardi is a Florida attorney who has fought and won numerous medical cannabis cases. He and Wichita attorney Casey Yingling are now working with the Schwabs, along with Topeka attorney Jennifer Chaffee and former Kansas gubernatorial candidate Jennifer Winn.

Termination of Parental Rights “Off the Table”

When Raymond and Amelia arrived at the courtroom last Tuesday, a clerk came in to tell them that there would be no court hearing that day, and that the judge wanted to see the attorneys in his chambers.

According to Raymond Schwab, the judge basically said:

I don’t think anyone’s going to argue that reintegration is no longer an option.

Though social workers have threatened and batted around the idea of termination of the Schwabs’ parental rights (TPR) for some time, the Schwabs were greatly relieved to learn that the TPR option is now “off the table.”

[The judge] came out and said that we want all the council to have a meeting to come up with a plan for how we are going to get these kids home.

With tears in his eyes, an emotional Raymond told his supporters:

We’re going to get our kids back. … It’s going to happen.

There should be no reason why our kids should not be home for Christmas.

Amelia said, “That’s Asher’s birthday.”

There are still some hoops that the court wants them to jump through, and they have things that they have to get in place in Colorado in order for the children to join them in Colorado. They believe that this part will go by quickly, and that they will begin having unsupervised visitation very soon.


The Schwab family was a very close-knit family before DCF. Photo source: Free the Schwab Children Facebook page.

Kansas DCF wants the family to immediately begin family counseling, which the Schwabs see as a win, because that is “more time with our children.”

Already they have discovered through family counseling that the children have been psychologically harmed as well as coached through the DCF/foster care process.

Raymond and Amelia would much rather their children come home now, but they have more hope than ever before that it really will happen.

Raymond addressed a concern that many parents have expressed to us – that Child Protective Services can come in and rip a child or children from their family in an instant, but when they bring them home, it usually takes months for the “reintegration” process:

I know that they can take them without all this fanfare, but now they have to do their process.

That’s WHY it’s important to reform this system, because once you’re in it, it starts this machine rolling that’s really easy to start –

  • a stupid [hot]line phone call
  • a false allegation
  • some angry social worker stealing your kid

And  a 2 to 3 year nightmare starts for parents and children – some that don’t ever get their children back, some whose children die, or come back damaged because they were raped or over-medicated.

They thanked God and their supporters for their prayers. They said that they are “emotional, tired, and really excited.”

Later, Raymond Schwab told Health Impact News that they are more hopeful than ever before that they will get their kids back, but until he sees it happening, he remains skeptical. They have told them before, in December 2016, that the children were coming home, but it didn’t happen.


Children Taken from Military Dad Using Medical Marijuana for PTSD to be Returned

Nonetheless, he said that things have:

definitely changed, and it looks like they’re following their policies. And reintegration is supposed to be happening.

He pointed out that they never started protesting until 8 months into the case, when it became obvious to them that the state had no intention of returning their children. Their story has drawn widespread attention, including local mainstream attention, to the corruption of the Kansas family courts.

Schwabs Million Parent March

They plan to participate in the Million Parent March in Washington, D.C. to advocate for families. Source: Free the Schwab Children Facebook page.

As a veteran, Raymond Schwab fought to uphold Constitutional principles. The fight for his own children is a fight that he has no intention of giving up. Their children are everything to Raymond and Amelia. In this battle, they have connected with hundreds of other families who are fighting the same fight. The battle for the families of all Americans is a battle that they intend to win.