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Tribal Custody Battle: Santa Clarita foster parents appeal to state Supreme Court


Tribal Custody Battle
Santa Clarita foster parents appeal to state Supreme Court in tribal custody battle, The protesters had aggregate abreast the Santa Clarita home by the hundreds, praying aloud for the little babe and her longtime advance parents inside.

They sang “Amazing Grace” and asked God to arbitrate to accumulate the 6-year-old babe with her advance family.

But on Monday afternoon, Los Angeles County amusing workers accustomed at the home to backpack out a cloister adjustment that the babe be relocated to reside with her continued ancestors associates in Utah.

Because the babe is allotment Choctaw, the federal Indian Adolescent Welfare Act — advised to absolute the breakdown of Native American families through acceptance or advance affliction adjustment — applies to her case, the Oklahoma-based Choctaw Nation said in a statement.

The altercation echoes abundant contempo battles about the nation that accept sparked altercation over the rights of adoptive and advance parents and the interests of befitting Native American accouchement aural their tribe. The Santa Clarita case drew protesters as able-bodied as civic media attention.

The babe has lived with advance parents Rusty and Summer Page and their three accouchement for added than four years, Rusty Page said in an interview. She became allotment of the family, he said, and he and his wife approved abominably to accept her.

“We never use the chat 'foster sister,' 'foster daughter;' it’s 'sister' and 'daughter,'" Page, 33, said. “She’s allotment of our ancestors with aggregate but her endure name.”

Page said that if he and his wife became the girl’s advance parents, she “came to us afraid and confused.” Now, he said, she is the “happiest, sweetest, kindest babe you anytime met,” who loves to play with the couple’s accouchement and to blush and swim.

Page accused the Choctaw Nation of “dictating area this adolescent goes.”

A account from the affiliation said that “from the alpha of this case, the Choctaw Nation advocated for [the girl’s] adjustment with her family.”

The child’s ancestors in Utah accept “created a admiring accord with her,” the affiliation said. “The Pages were consistently acquainted that the ambition was to abode [the girl] with her family, and her abiding adjustment has been delayed due to the Pages’ action to the Indian Adolescent Welfare Act.”

A Los Angeles County Superior Cloister adjudicator ahead disqualified that the babe be placed with ancestors in Utah. The Pages approved abominably assorted times to address the decision.

An appellate cloister break preventing the abatement of the babe from California was aerial Friday if the 2nd District Cloister of Address denied a command address filed by the Pages, said Leslie Starr Heimov, controlling administrator of the Children’s Law Center of California, the court-appointed law close that represents advance youths.

The adolescent cloister case is confidential.

“We accept abundant benevolence and accord for the Pages,” Heimov said. “We apperceive that their hearts are breaking, but, unfortunately, that’s the attributes of advance care. We ask the adults to adulation a adolescent as if it’s their own and again to let that adolescent go, and that’s an acutely difficult affair to do.”

The babe has had approved visits with her out-of-state ancestors for some time now, Heimov said. In Utah, she will reside with one of her biological sisters. Another sister lives aural walking distance, Heimov said.

“There are two families that adulation her,” she said. “The cloister has fabricated a decision. We charge to chase the law, and we charge to accomplish the cloister orders.”

In a statement, Philip Browning, administrator of the Los Angeles County Department of Accouchement and Ancestors Services, said that “when a cloister makes an order, we have to chase it.”

On Monday, a calm fell over the army of protesters if amusing workers came to the Pages’ foreground door. A few bashful account anesthetized afore the aperture was assuredly opened.

Rusty Page agitated the youngster outside. The girl, cutting a blush shirt and a complect in her hair, afraid a amber teddy bear. Placed in the backseat of a amusing worker’s car, she cried.

Page said that he was ordered by the cloister not to altercate the bearings with the babe and that she had no abstraction she would be taken away. The protesters aggregate a few houses abroad so she wouldn’t apprehend or see them.

In a statement, the Civic Indian Adolescent Welfare Assn. criticized the “negative” absorption the case has received.

“The purpose of advance affliction is to accommodate acting affliction for accouchement while families get casework and abutment to accumulate with their children, not to fast-track the conception of new families if there is continued ancestors accessible who wish to affliction for the child,” the affiliation said.

The Page ancestors Monday night appear a account that asked "the humans who took our daughter" to "[d]o the appropriate affair and accompany [her] aback home."

An advocate for the Pages, Lori Alvino-McGill, said Tuesday night the ancestors this anniversary filed an address to the Supreme Cloister of California, allurement that the adolescent abide with them.

"We will abide to agilely accompany our address through the accompaniment courts in California, and, if necessary, to the U.S. Supreme Court," Alvino-McGill said in a account in which she decried the Indian Adolescent Welfare Act as a law that is "routinely getting misinterpreted, with adverse consequences."

The Choctaw Nation on Tuesday said abounding accomplish had been taken by the affiliation to "ensure the best placement" for the child.

An absolute analytic analyst was brought in to guage her adeptness to alteration from her advance ancestors to her Utah relatives, and a California cloister appointed a alliance and ancestors therapist to accomplish a adolescent aegis appraisal "to appraise the brainy bloom and parenting practices of both parties," the affiliation said in a statement.

"The case was absitively in the California cloister arrangement three abstracted times, with three altered balloon cloister board cardinal in favor of [the girl's] about in Utah," the Choctaw Nation said. "We, as a tribe, are appropriate to chase federal law."

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