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Kingston, Mattingly Give Up Rights To Two Children.

Kingston, Mattingly Give Up Rights To Two Children.



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Sandra Yi Reporting After fighting and winning a long court custody battle, polygamist John Daniel Kingston and Heidi Mattingly went back to court today to give up parental rights to two daughters.

Heidi Mattingly: "I do feel like we've had two deaths in the family, and I want to know, when is this going to be enough?"

The couple has 11 children together. The girls have said they don't want to go home. In court today, their parents told the judge they'll honor their wishes.

After the hearing Heidi Mattingly was overcome with emotion. She left the courthouse, but returned moments later, angry.

Heidi Mattingly: "It's not right to rip families apart. That's not what America is, that's now why we're here."

For Mattingly, the decision to give up her parental rights wasn't easy, but she says it was for the best.

Heidi Mattingly: "I hope and pray that my oldest daughters will be able to recover from this and rebuild and have productive and happy lives."

It was the two girls, ages 14 and 17, who alleged abuse and triggered a long custody battle between the family and the state. They are in foster care and want to be adopted.

The state had filed a petition to terminate parental rights. A voluntary surrender avoids trial.

John Daniel Kingston: "We feel real bad about as to the way things have gone, but one of the main principles that our family believes in is freedom of choice."

The family is now looking ahead. In August Mattingly regained custody of six of her children who had been placed in foster care.

Heidi Mattingly: "Obviously they're thrilled to be home, they're happy to be together again, to be able to see their family and friends."

But Kingston still can't have contact with Mattingly or their children. The family's next step is to change that.

Heidi Mattingly: "Some of the younger ones still cry every Sunday when we go to church and they can't run across the hall and give their dad a hug."

John Daniel Kingston: "I love Heidi very much and I'm very much looking forward to the day that we can be together again, and look forward to the times that I can associate with the children."

A hearing next month will address the no-contact order between John Daniel Kingston and Heidi Mattingly.

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