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Home Forums General Discussion ‘Off-the-Grid’ Parents Lose Custody of 10 Kids

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    The Nauglers of Kentucky have temporarily lost custody of their 10 kids in a child-protective investigation. (Photo: Blessed Little Homestead/The Naugler Family)

    Following a Monday court hearing, a Kentucky couple living what they call a “simple, back-to-basics life” in a rural, off-the-grid shack has lost custody, at least temporarily, of their 10 children. Joe and Nicole Naugler — who are expecting an 11th child in October — will remain under investigation by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), while their kids, ranging in age from 3 months to 15 years old, will stay in the agency’s custody.

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    “Although we are sad our children will not be returned to us today, we have nothing to hide,” Joe Naugler wrote on the family’s Facebook page, Blessed Little Homestead. “We have cooperated with all requests made to us by CHFS and will continue to do so. We are confident that throughout this process, Nicole and I will be shown to be the good parents that we are and that our family will be reunited.”

    The court’s decision came several days after authorities removed the children from their home, following an anonymous police complaint about the family’s living conditions — which allegedly include residing under a crude tarp construction, having no heat or running water, and having no septic system (which the Nauglers dispute). But many of their supporters believe they’re being targeted for their lifestyle, which includes living off the power grid, birthing children at home, and relying on “unschooling,” which is a less structured approach to homeschooling.

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    The case is just the latest of its kind to raise national questions about Child Protective Services overreaching and flouting parental rights. Other cases grabbing the national spotlight recently have included that of the Meitiv family in Maryland, investigated by CPS for allowing their children to walk unattended to a nearby playground, as well as that of the Stanleys, in Arkansas, who had their seven children removed from the home in January over a dispute related to a mineral supplement.

    Nicole Naugler is pregnant with her 11th child. (Photo: Blessed Little Homestead/The Naugler Family)

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