Mom gets 3 daughters back from faith-healing grandparents

KOIN CBS News, Oregon/May 6, 2021

By Dan Tilkin

Portland, Oregon — In an unusual child custody case, an Oregon mother got her daughters back from her own parents, who are members of the Followers of Christ Faith Healing church in Oregon City.

When Katie Duncan and her ex-husband filed for divorce, the couple signed over custody of their 3 daughters to Duncan’s parents. For nearly 4 years she fought to get the girls back and claimed her parents wanted to keep the girls from leaving the church.

Cameras were not allowed in the Clackamas County courtroom Thursday as Duncan’s parents gave up their custody rights without giving a reason.

Former church member Linda Martin was expecting to testify for Duncan if the custody battle continued.

“I think it would be very difficult for them to explain their religion and justify the doctrines and the things that go on in the church,” Martin said.

In an email, the lawyer for the parents of Katie Duncan wrote:

“..the Kelleys’ agreement to assume custody of their grandchildren in April 2017 was to care for the children until a time if and when the parents were able to resume custody. The Kelleys’ goal was always the well-being of the children. It is unfortunate that the reunification of the children and their parents took as long as it did, but the Kelleys’ and (presumably) the Duncans’ goal of reunification was finally achieved today.”

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