Authorities removed a 6-year-old girl from her Santa Clarita, California home, because her foster parents – Summer and Rusty Page – are white.
It started when the girl was 17 months old. Her birth mother was a drug addict and had already had six of her other kids removed from her custody by authorities. The girl’s biological father had a long criminal history and had one other child removed from his custody.
At 17 months, authorities removed the girl from the custody of her biological parents. The biological father is an enrolled member of an Indian tribe, and his daughter – now six – is 1.5 percent Choctaw. When the girl was two years old, the Indian tribe consented to have the child placed in the care of non-Indian parents to “facilitate efforts to reunify the girl with her father,” as court documents said.
At the age of 2, she was placed with the Page family, where she bonded and thrived, according to court documents. After efforts to reunify the family failed, the father, the tribe and the Department of Children and Family Services recommended the girl be placed in Utah with a non-Indian couple who are extended family of the father. The court agreed, finding that the Page family “had not proven by clear and convincing evidence that it was a certainty the child would suffer emotional harm by the transfer.”
The foster parents have appealed the court order issued earlier this month affirming the child was to be placed with the Utah couple.
Here’s the moment authorities with the Department of Child and Family Services ordered the child be taken away from her family:
Because Lexi is part Choctaw, a court ordered the removal of the child from her foster family under the Indian Child Welfare Act – a 1978 federal law intended to keep Native American families together. Now the child is headed to Lexi’s biological father’s extended family in Utah where her other biological siblings reside. In spite of the fact that Lexi has known no other parents or family than the Pages, and the fact that she has “bonded and thrived” with her foster family, the Choctaw Nation stated that they’re trying to do what’s best for the girl by taking her away from her family. Their statement read:
The Choctaw Nation desires the best for this Choctaw child. The tribe’s values of faith, family and culture are what makes our tribal identity so important to us. Therefore we will continue to work to maintain these values and work toward the long-term best interest of this child.