Hard Choice for Polygamy Moms: Your Cult or Your Kids

Women may have to leave ranch
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2008 4:30 AM CDT
Hard Choice for Polygamy Moms: Your Cult or Your Kids
Members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints chat with reporters on the premises of the Yearning For Zion ranch in Eldorado, Texas.   (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Mothers from the Yearning for Zion polygamist compound in Texas may have to distance themselves from their religion—or face not getting their children back, the Dallas Morning News reports. Texas officials have prepared a list of goals the women need to work toward to prove they can provide a home free from the risk of child sexual abuse—and the guidelines may be unworkable under the sect's communal living arrangements.

A state official denied religion was being targeted, but said that authorities were concerned about underage girls marrying older men. "This is not about polygamy,” he said. “It is about child sexual abuse." Lawyers for sect members said the guidelines were too general, and that many sect mothers would struggle with life in the outside world. But one added that her clients were willing to do anything to get their kids back. (More Yearning for Zion ranch stories.)

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