Accused in Texas Face Long Wait to Fight Abuse Label

It’s been more than a decade since Child Protective Services entered Gary and Melissa Gates’ Houston-area home and removed their two biological kids and 11 adopted ones, following an allegation the pair had emotionally abused one of their children. Within three days, a judge had returned all the children to their parents; within eight months, the child welfare agency had dropped its case.

But the Gateses, along with half a million other people, remain listed in a statewide database of people who mistreat children — a registry that often precludes child care jobs, foster care and their life’s work ...

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