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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Foster parents lose appeals fight for American Indian girl

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES – A California appeals court affirmed Friday a lower court’s decision to remove a 6-year-old girl with Native American ancestry from her foster family of four years and reunite her with relatives in Utah.

Lexi, who is part Choctaw, was taken from her foster home north of Los Angeles in a tearful parting in March and placed with family in Utah under a decades-old federal law designed to keep Native families together.

Her former foster parents, Rusty and Summer Page, asked the appeals court to reverse a lower court ruling. Their attorney argued the lower court made an error by failing to take into account Lexi’s bond with her foster family.

However, a three-judge panel found the lower court made the right decision and correctly considered the bond as well as other factors.

Those factors included Lexi’s relationship with her extended family, their capacity to help her reconnect with her tribal roots, and the Pages’ “relative reluctance or resistance” to foster Lexi’s relationship with her extended family, the judges wrote.

The Pages said they plan to take the case to the California Supreme Court.

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