Family loses Native American foster daughter due to federal law
Rusty and Summer Page are fighting to keep their foster daughter after a 3 year court battle. 6-year-old Lexi was removed from the family's care to be placed with relatives in Utah due to the Indian Child Welfare Act.
The 1978 federal law is intended to protect Native American children by keeping them with Native American families. According to her foster family, Lexi is 1.5 percent Choctaw.
The National Indian Child Welfare Association said Lexi's blood relatives have been waiting for her. "Her extended family has been waiting for her since 2011. For five years, they've been waiting to care for this child as a member of their family," said Sarah Kastelic of the National Indian Child Welfare Association.
The Choctaw Nation issued the following 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 disagrees with the law. "Our daughter is just one of many victims of the Indian Child Welfare Act, a horrific law that the U.S. government continues time and time again to give absolute power to tribal leaders who judiciously abduct children at will," Rusty Page said.
The family has created a Facebook page to help bring awareness to their story.
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