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I have a form that sets the value for parent terms in a taxonomy vocabulary (web_topic). The variable 'search_topic_options' is stored in the variable table with variable_set.

The form allows the user to select taxonomy terms and this will change the view with hook_views_query_alter and show content associated with the taxonomomy term. However, view only shows top level taxonomy with no children.

So if I have two terms

node/1 fruit >> apples node/2 fruit >> bananas node/3 fruit node/4 animals >> cat node/5 animals >> dog node/6 animals

only node/3 and node/6 appear in the view.

In the function to build the form

     $vocabulary = taxonomy_vocabulary_machine_name_load('web_topic');
     $terms = taxonomy_get_tree($vocabulary->vid, 0, 1);
     $topic_options = array();
     foreach($terms as $term) {
       $topic_options[$term->tid] = $term->name;
     }
     $default_topics = variable_get('search_topic_options');

and the function

 
function MYMODULE_views_query_alter(&$view, &$query) { 
      $view->query->where[1]['conditions'][] = array('field' => "taxonomy_term_data_node.tid", "value" => $topic_options, "operator" => "IN");      
   
}

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