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WEST JORDAN - Two years after an argument over ear piercing led to a protracted child welfare case, Heidi Mattingly Foster and polygamist John Daniel Kingston have voluntarily terminated their parental rights to two teenage daughters.
Kingston and Mattingly Foster signed separate documents Friday before 3rd District Court Judge Elizabeth Lindsley, giving away any future right or say as to how and where the girls - ages 14 an 17 - live.
Stoic during the proceedings, Mattingly Foster tearfully said afterward that she felt as if "there had been two deaths in the family."
The two daughters, who fled their parents during a 2004 argument over getting their ears pierced, were not present during Friday's proceedings. Their court-appointed attorneys told the judge the sisters had been placed together with a family who had expressed interest in adopting them. The girls are the eldest of the couple's 11 children.
"It is my understanding [the girls] don't want to come home," Kingston told the judge. "I wish them well and hope they make the best of their lives."
Kingston remains under a court order to have no contact with any of his children with Mattingly Foster. All but the youngest were in foster care for months, but all had been returned to their mother's custody by August.
The judge has set a Nov. 1 court date to hear a request from Mattingly Foster's attorney that Kingston be allowed supervised visits with the children in her care.
In the meantime, Kingston is to complete anger management courses and enroll in a domestic-violence counseling program.
Lindsley also ruled Friday that the couple violated that no-contact order in April when they allowed their children to interact with Kingston at the funeral of Mattingly Foster's father. She ordered each of them to perform 50 hours of community service for the violation. The judge also ordered Kingston to pay $6,200 in back child support to state agencies that cared for the children when they were in foster care.
Kingston's attorney, Daniel Irvin, said he is planning to appeal that order because the sum exceeds half of his client's monthly income.