California girl sent to live with extended Utah family amidst tribal custody battle

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SANTA CLARITA, Calif. - A California couple’s fight to keep their foster daughter is over for now.

On Monday afternoon, the Division of Child & Family Services removed 6-year-old Lexi from the Page's Santa Clarita home. Lexi will be placed in a Utah home with extended family.

Under The Indian Child Welfare Act, the young girl who is 1.5 percent Choctaw Native American, must be placed in a Native American home. Congress created the act in 1978 to keep Native American families together.

"She’s been with us four and half years almost. She doesn’t know any other family," said Rusty Page, Lexi's foster father.

"Every state is required to comply with this act," said Brent Platt, the Utah Director of Child and Family Services.

Platt is not overseeing Lexi's case, but handles similar cases for the state of Utah. He said congress created the act to protect and preserve Native American culture.

"There was a concern prior to 1978 that Indian children were being removed from their homes at a very high rate," he said.

The Page family has been trying to adopt Lexi since her biological parents relinquished custody two and half years ago. But court documents show the Choctaw tribe chose to place Lexi with an "extended family member" in Utah. The Pages say are not Native American.

The Choctaw Nation issued a statement:

"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."

The Page family says removing Lexi from the only home she's ever known will only hurt her.

"She won student of the month last month for how caring she is for people and people don’t return that favor to her," Page said through tears.

The Page family has created a change.org petition. They’re trying to gather 25,000 signatures so they can send a letter to their local government leaders.

20 comments

  • Tina

    I was going through a custody battle and had mention this Native American Act. But no one bothered to listen. Instead gave custody to an Illegal immigrant.

    • James

      This isn’t right! Keep fighting don’t give up. Why would they listen to the Illegal Immigrant instead ? I would definitely keep fighting. You should get a petition going, they should honor this NAA.

  • bob

    How vile. Because she’s 1.5% “Indian” she’s taken from the people who share 98.5% of her ethnicity and trundled off to the reservation to live with people she doesn’t know. All because their skin color isn’t good enough.

    What country is this? Liberals make my physically sick. Worthless creatures every one of them.

  • bob

    And the Establishment continues to wonder why we’re shoving Trump down their throats. You’re lucky that’s all we’re doing…..so far.

  • ryterrytes

    She has been with the foster family for four and a half years and the extended bio family has been fighting to get custody for three and a half years? Different spin on things with that fact.

  • eleven

    Have you seen the reservations in Utah? Real sh*tholes. This little girl is about to be dragged down into a world of poverty and alcoholism.

  • bobbie

    I’m ashamed to be of Native American heritage. Poor little baby. I hope the family gets her back. Everyone please sign the petition.

  • Amor DeCosmos

    “The tribe’s values of… …family ” great family values there, Choctaws. My heart is with the family. I am going home to hug my daughter and be glad there are no crazy Indians trying to kidnap her from me.

  • J. Holderbaum

    According to the Washington Post:
    Choctaw Nation officials said in a statement that Lexi is now in “a safe, loving home” with her distant relatives and her biological sisters.
    “The Choctaw Nation has advocated for Lexi to live with her family since 2011,” the tribe said in a statement. “These relatives have been a part of Lexi’s life for almost five years. They are not strangers. They have maintained a relationship with her, visiting her in California, making regular SKYPE calls, and Lexi has also been on extended visits to Utah. The family has been waiting for five years for all of them to be together.””

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