January 8th, 2009
09:01 PM ET

Polygamy Teen Bride: Two sides to every story

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/08/art.jeffs.jpg caption="Warren Jeffs kissing his 14-year-old "wife"."]
Melanie Whitley
CNN Assignment Editor

The story of this alleged 14-year-old "wife" is disturbing…See the pictures of her kissing her "husband" Warren Jeffs, leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS). He is in prison after being convicted for his role in arranging the marriage of another underage girl.

The girl in court today should be out playing with her friends..on a soccer team or at the roller skating rink. Instead, the state of Texas is trying to keep her in foster care instead of releasing her back to the polygamist ranch. Court documents show that the 14 year old (who’s name we are not revealing since she is a minor) was only 12 when she allegedly was married to Jeffs. The girl's mother continues to reject all allegations that she's an unfit parent.

This child also thinks her mother did no wrong…They were raised in this polygamist world and they knew no other. This little girl was ripped away from all that she knew and placed in the hands of total strangers.

And the mother has been separated from her daughter..I cannot imagine what the two are going through, but can't help wondering: are they both victims? The goal should be what is best for the child.. What would that be, right now?

Filed under: Melanie Whitley • Polygamy
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. epic

    it's just wrong

    January 9, 2009 at 1:20 am |
  2. PA

    Nothing about Warren Jeffs is surprising. It looks like this young girl in the picture is with child. Thankfully Jeffs is in prison.

    January 8, 2009 at 11:21 pm |
  3. Kathy N.

    Even without the issue of polygamy, is the marriage of a 12 year old legal? The mother separated herself from her daughter when she consented to the marriage. Yes, I think they are both victims. Maybe the mother and daughter could be reunited in a half way house type of setting where they can both be counseled.

    January 8, 2009 at 10:04 pm |
  4. Annie Kate

    I don't know what the right thing to do would be, but I do think it would be wrong to let her go back to her mother since the mother and the daughter feel that the polygamist wedding at age 12 was ok. Just that belief should disqualify the mother from getting custody back because she will just let her child be married again underage to some man in the community.

    January 8, 2009 at 9:27 pm |