homesteading with kids....... legality

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by wizzard, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. wizzard

    wizzard future nomad

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    ok, i know that homesteading witth children will be a difficult task. very difficult. what i do not know is whether it is possible or not. i know i cant just move into a house with no electric, water, or heat without them being taken away. but i figure there has to be a loophole. for example, omish. or menonite. they do not have to have electricity, but are allowed to keep their children. i do not want to be an omish, i would like to adhere to their lifestyle, but not necesarily their religion. anyone dealt with these problems before? have any ideas?
     
  2. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Tha Amish DO have heat and water......from their well and their wood stove! That might be the difference.
     

  3. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    I don't think anyone will take away your kids unless there is a complaint.

    Are they being mistreated? No. Do they have warm shelter, food, clothes? Yes. I grew up in a house that didn't have running water (still doesn't, by the way!) and we didn't get "taken away". When my babies were very young, we heated with wood, used candles for light, grew ALL of our food, etc., and my kids were the healthiest, happiest youngsters around.

    Now, if you send them to school dirty, smelly, and they complain they are hungry or cold... that's another story.

    Lack of water, electricity, and a furnace doesn't equal poverty and mistreatment.
     
  4. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    We weren't Amish and carried our water in from a well, heated with wood and didn't have electricity and had an outhouse. I fail to see what the problem is, unless of course you are planning on squatting in a ditch, go thirsty and filthy and freeze while you are at it!! :stars:
     
  5. wizzard

    wizzard future nomad

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    i have heard on this forum that the government doesnt like it.... depriving the kids of eletricity...... plus with this i hope to not maintain a job other than the homestead.... a little bit of extra stuff to sell for staples

    and im going to have wood heat, and water of some sort.....
     
  6. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    If you want to live a full, healthy life in a simple manner unencumbered by most modern gadgets, that's fine. However, don't believe for a moment that that is the only way to homesteading. Homesteading is a state of mind as much as anything else, and there are many steps along the way to many different ends in that state. People with a balcony vegetable garden in containers are on the path. So are people on an acre, grid-connected, city water and sewerage, keeping chickens, vegetable garden and an orchard. So are people with a cabin in the woods, living largely by hunting, gathering and fishing. And many others.
     
  7. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    What does depriving kids of electricity deprive them OF? My kids didn't watch TV, although we had one. We didn't use the electric lights, but we had them. A propane fridge will run just as well as an electric one, I'm sure.

    I'm not sure that not having electricity deprives them of anything.

    Name one thing that you HAVE to have electricity for in order to be "legal".... I can't think of a thing that doesn't have some alternative.
     
  8. hollym

    hollym Well-Known Member

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    A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, I lived on 20 acres on a mountaintop in Montana with NO electricity, NO running water, NO plumbing, woodstoves, 12V lights and Coleman lanterns, an outhouse a ways away, etc. I had two kids from a prior marriage and later on two more.

    First husband threatened me ONCE about kids living the way that they did. But when I checked with Social Services, I was told that as long as I fed them, clothed them, was nice to them, sent them to school, and had a warm place for them to sleep, I was good to go. I was surprised, but greatly relieved. BTW, the school thing is optional if you are homeschooling, but we didn't do that.

    So...check with your local authorities, you may have a good surprise in store for you. My kids are in their 20's now and are happy healthy individuals that still speak to me, if that helps!

    hollym
     
  9. freeinalaska

    freeinalaska Well-Known Member

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    Though you could find a social service worker who could not understand the off-grid, water hauling, outhouse using lifestyle they really can't do anything if the kids are sheltered, feed, cleaned and in school (home school included).

    A neighbor of ours in rural No. California was involved with a custody battle when her soon to be ex-husband reported inadequate living conditions for the kids. When it all shook out, after they came and inspected the cabin, the court had nothing negative to say about their living situation deeming it a safe and healthy environment for the kids.

    We have raised 5 kids without modern convienience. We always made sure there was never any reason for any child welfare agency to ever wonder. If you care for your children as you should there should be no problems.
     
  10. themamahen

    themamahen Well-Known Member

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    we were very poor when i was a kid and we were "taken away" because of electricity issues. ie: there wasn't any shut off due to nonpayment - we lived in town and had a kerosene heater for heat we cooked on the grill and ate, but no hot water and the dishes piled up and social services took us away. i live in the west now and a lot of people live off the grid- not so common in ky where i grew up it is much more industralized. so it CAN happen it did to me- but we also lived in a camper later when i was a teen and elec. water heat was provided- social sevices did NOT like it but all ness. were there so there wasn't anything they could do about it- this was also in a diff county. so i would say as long as you provide them with needed items such as heat and water exc. you should be ok- but also have you thought about solar? generator? exc.
     
  11. Swampthing

    Swampthing Well-Known Member

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    A lot of you are taking about 20 years ago and "when I had my kids" and such. This is the here and now and this ain't the same country it was then. It's regular for the govt. to step in and take kids out of families for there being dirt on the kitchen floor or whatever reason they "think" up. They know what's best and that's not a life of independence. They want you connected to the Power lines and connected to the water line, sending your kids to their schools and going to their approved churches and you working at their approved job. In their view anything else is barbaric, 3rd world. Think I'm joking? Google patriot act compliance.

    wizzard you know how things are here in Ky. If you're going to do something like this you need to fly under the radar as low as possible. All it's going to take is you making someone mad and they call health and human services and your kids will be gone, put on drugs and you'll be in jail for child endangerment.
     
  12. cruiser3006

    cruiser3006 Active Member

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    Buy/acquire a small electric generator (with good muffler) for occaisional use or show, make sure it works. A lot of ordinances and regulations are set up to force you to pay cities and corporations. There are still ways around the various controls being placed on people today. As recently as 18 months ago, I knew of numerous families that had no utilities, water, sewage etc. provided by city or other providers. They had no problems with legal system, and had plenty of pre-school and school age children. You will have other laws and ordinances affecting residences, if you live within city limits. That is where a difference applies to habitable dwellings.
     
  13. antiquestuff

    antiquestuff Well-Known Member

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    Depriving them of the TV means less brainwashed kids.

    Anyways, yes, some militant govt. people have been going after people like what you want to be...just be careful. My suggestion: have nothing to do with the public school system, nothing! Find a private school if you have to where they will not intrude too much, or better yet, homeschool. Best homseschool. Of course, that itself presents problems with the intrusive govt....
     
  14. antiquestuff

    antiquestuff Well-Known Member

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    Swampthing summed it up pretty good....
     
  15. Kygardengal

    Kygardengal Well-Known Member

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    Wizzard, from what I know about here in Ky, is that it will all depend on who is complaining, who is investigating and who is judging. I do know that about 5 or 6 years ago, it was decided that it was "illegal" to have an out house. The Sheriff's office was driving down country roads on the look out for them and people were encouraged to report any they knew of. I remember reading about it in our newspaper. That would mean you would be required to have a working toilet, which will probably require a well or county water. I am not sure on the legality of wells either.

    As far as the Amish and Mennonite, they are protected by their religion....Their religion requires them to have their lifestyle. Also there is protection in numbers. If you started a community, with it's own religion,
    who lives this lifestyle....you can probably get away with it....But an individual
    alone doing this same thing, would be considered unfit to keep their children.
    I know it is not fair....but that is the way it is....

    I would definately recommend that you "stay below the radar"....If any "nosy neighbor" finds you out, they'll surely think it their duty to save these poor kids. People are self-righteous that way....It is all a matter of what someone deems "unfit"...whether it be a nosy busybody, a nurse, a teacher, a friend, a social worker, a policeman or a judge. They could all cause you much grief. It is a risk....Once you are under "suspect" you will be watched.....

    As far as how much risk is involved, it will all depend on the "opinion" of the social worker. A judge would then decide what happens and it is almost always what the social worker recommends. Social workers are powerful people when it comes to your children. They feel they are on this mission to protect your children from "YOU"....

    As far as homeschooling, it will vary by county here in Kentucky.....I have a friend in Allen county that home schools...with absolutely no interference from anyone.....Here in Warren County, I have a friend who homeschools and she has someone from the local school board ( who is against homeschooling) who visits her home every month to check up on their progress. She lives in town, I can only imagine what kind of grief this would cause if she were living off the grid in a tent or cabin.

    I would call officials in several counties and ask a lot of questions. Find out for yourself what is legal and what is not....I wouldn't tell them my intentions if I were you either.....just gather information....

    I would worry about loosing my kids....that is a really big deal......
     
  16. Selena

    Selena proud to be pro-choice

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    Maybe you should look at another state. I live in one of the fastest growing areas of IL (not Chicago or the burbs) and we have good schools. But we do have people who homeschool. Our K-8 district allows homeschool kids to participate in band and athletics once they are in 6th grade. Not all places are open to homeschooling or "alternative" lifestyles. Some schools want the daily reimbursement from the state so they go after homeschoolers. There are people who think not having A/C is child abuse. You'll never make everyone happy and I agree with staying under the radar, regardless of what you chose to do. In my book, the less people know about you, the better. And given what I've read and experienced with judges, I wouldn't count on them doing "the right thing". A girl who worked for me had a physically and mentally (now ex) husband. Gave her an STD, told the judge he had no problem giving minors alcohol, abused prescription drugs, drank excessively, and drained his 401k in defiance of a court order. HE got custody of 3 minor female children. The judges "reason" - she had to travel, at most, 1 week per year hence she was denied custody. So be careful and move cautiously.
     
  17. themamahen

    themamahen Well-Known Member

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    i forgot to add I lived in ky at the time grew up there and things are diff there. I know a social worker there and they HAVE to investigate ANY claim made against you. this happened to me 15 years ago. HOWEVER a mentally challenged couple had a child the child put a key in an elec. outlet took a trip to hospital and social services took the child. they lived in the ssame apartment complex as me. the community pulled together and stood up for the parents who were slow- but not daft and the child returned home.
     
  18. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Wizard,
    Consider relocating to a region friendly to this notion, if you don't already live in one. Also, don't draw attention to yourself. If you live in Maryland, move. I do know of cases of people losing their children for this sort of thing here.
     
  19. SpaceCadet12364

    SpaceCadet12364 Well-Known Member

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    Wizzard,

    Are you in or looking to move into an area of KY that has a lot of Amish/Mennonite families? You might be able to find a place to buy that used to be owned by an Amish or Mennonite family, that is a good solid house but as you want not with electric, etc. If you know any of them, they might be able to assist you or let you know if there is a place up for sale that would be to your liking. I think United Country realty company regularily will carry some properties like that.

    And, if you are able to find a place amongst them, I would imagine that they would be more likely to help you to learn their style of living than they would to "rat you out" that you were "depriving" your kids of TV and other stuff like that as the more conventional/modern householders might do.

    Good luck!
     
  20. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Bwhahaha! They take kids away for simply home schooling them here.