Texas authorities no longer believe that a woman who gave birth to a child in state protective custody is a minor herself.

Lawyers for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services acknowledged in a hearing in San Angelo on Tuesday that the young woman is legally an adult.

"We received information — credible information — and we now believe this woman who was believed to be a minor in question, is in fact, an adult," said Texas Child Protective Services spokeswoman Marleigh Meisner.

However, she will still remain in custody alongside her baby boy, who was born in San Marcos on April 29.

A hearing on the issue has been continued until Friday in San Angelo, Texas.

A spokesman for the FLDS Church said the woman in the case, identified as Pamela Jeffs, is 18.

On Monday, a young woman gave birth to a boy in Austin. Louisa Jessop's husband is challenging the decision to keep them in state custody, and a judge held off on ordering them moved to a new shelter in San Antonio. A hearing is scheduled in an Austin court on Thursday.

In the meantime, the child and his mother remain in foster care.

"The mother and 26 others are in the 'disputed minors' category, which applies to YFZ Ranch residents who CPS believes are minors, or who have provided different ages and other conflicting information to CPS at different times," Texas DFPS said in a statement posted on its Web site.

The FLDS insist that Jessop (whom they say is 22) and other young women are adults. Texas CPS believes they are underage. The government agency said it is reviewing information about the women deemed "disputed minors."

"If CPS determines that any are adults, appropriate action will be taken," the agency said.


E-mail: [email protected]