Native American tribe wins custody of child in controversial dispute
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (KTVU) - A couple in Santa Clarita, near Los Angeles, broke down in tears, when social workers took away their foster child, who is part Native American.
Foster parent, Rusty Page, said 6-year-old Lexi, cried and said, "don't let them take me. I'm scared. Don't let me go."
Page and his wife started taking care of Lexi, when she was just 17-months-old.
But Lexi is 1.5% Choctaw Native American, which allows the tribe to gain custody of her, under the federal Indian Child Welfare Act.
Lexi is going to a family in Utah, that's not Native American, but is related by marriage to her birth dad.
"This outrageous abuse of power must stop now," said Page. "Let me speak directly to the people who took our daughter and who have her now. Please search deep in your heart and soul and do what's best for Lexi."
A court ruled that the Page family had not proven clear and convincing evidence that Lexi would suffer emotional harm with the transfer.
The Choctaw tribe says it is only doing what's best for her.
Social workers took the girl from her birth parents, because her mother was battling substance abuse, and her father had a long criminal record.