NLQ Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What resources are available for former Quiverfull parents seeking to retain/gain legal custody of their children?
A. The following guest column by NLQ reader, “Dogemperor” addresses this issue in detail:
Firstly, I’d like to thank Vyckie very much for asking me to do this guest column–and a minor caveat or two here: I am not a lawyer, merely someone who grew up in a “New Apostolic Reformation” coercive religious group that now tends to be a heavy promoter of the Quiverfull stuff.
Step 1: Getting an attorney
Folks who are leaving a coercive religious group–and especially women leaving Quiverfull groups–do not tend to have the financial resources to afford expensive lawyers. One alternative is to contact your state’s Bar Association–a little-known fact is that most Bars require attorneys to set aside a certain amount of casework a year as pro bono work. The American Bar Association has a list of state and local bar associations here.
Some communities are better than others in regards to custody cases involving coercive groups. Texas in particular tends to be a bad state in regards to cases involving “Bible-based” groups; on the other hand, many states tend to give preference to women in custody hearings. (Again, this is an area you want to talk to a Real Life Attorney about; they have info on the general history of such cases in your area.)
Parents escaping Quiverfull have a bit of ammunition that is not normally available–namely, that much of what goes on in the Quiverfull movement (and especially the churches promoting it) are what are termed coercive religious groups.
In a number of groups promoting Quiverfull, there is also material promoted that can be stated to be promoting religiously motivated child and spousal abuse. (I myself am preparing a book on the subject, and also working with another author on a separate book on the issue.) Particularly notable co-promoters of Quiverfull and religiously motivated domestic abuse include the Ezzos, Michael and Debbie Pearl, and Bill Gothard.
“Dogemperor” is a prolific writer/researcher on coercive religious groups within the “religious right” and is presently moderator of one of the largest discussion forums on “religious right” issues on the Internet (Dark Christianity @ Livejournal: http://dark_christian.livejournal.com).
“Dogemperor” has written in particular on the subject of religiously motivated child abuse within “Bible-based” groups…and works to inform people about the parts of the “” that aren’t widely publicised and particularly about the issues people who leave the more coercive “religious right” groups face.