Kidnapped from that Land II: A Comparison of Two Raids to Save the Children from the Polygamists

Children's Legal Rights Journal, Vol. 30, Spring 2010

68 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2009 Last revised: 6 Feb 2013

Linda F. Smith

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

Date Written: August 27, 2009

Abstract

In the spring on 2008 America watched as over 400 children were removed from their polygamist parents on the Yearning for Zion Ranch in rural west Texas. That raid was eerily reminiscent of the Short Creek Raid of 1953, meant to rescue the children from the same polygamist group in Arizona and Utah. This article compares and contrasts the two raids in light of changes to child protection law in the intervening years. Despite advances in our understanding of child development and in our respect for constitutional rights, the Texas raid repeated and compounded the mistakes of the Short Creek raid. Ultimately the article explores why child protection laws are inappropriately used to attempt the rescue of children from authoritarian religions.

Keywords: child protection, child welfare, polygamy, religion

Suggested Citation

Smith, Linda F., Kidnapped from that Land II: A Comparison of Two Raids to Save the Children from the Polygamists (August 27, 2009). Children's Legal Rights Journal, Vol. 30, Spring 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1463013

Linda F. Smith (Contact Author)

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

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