The U.S. Supreme Court this week declined to review the case of a Santa Clarita family fighting to regain custody of a 6-year-old foster girl of partial Choctaw lineage who was relocated by social workers so she can live with relatives in Utah.
The girl, Lexi, was taken away from foster parents Rusty and Summer Page on March 21, 2015, after about four years living with the family. The move was made under the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, which was enacted in the 1970s to help protect the interests of Native American children.
The Pages, however, have been continuing to fight for the girl, saying she became a part of their family in the time she lived with them.
“Early this morning, we learned that the U.S. Supreme Court will not hear our case,” the Pages wrote in a statement on the SaveOurLexi Facebook page. “To say we are heartbroken is an understatement. It is difficult to describe the turmoil, heartbreak and devastation that our family and Lexi has endured over the past 10 months but the light that has kept us going has been the incredible prayers and support from our family, friends and supporters.”
The Pages called the decision a “crushing blow,” but said they will continue “fighting for Lexi’s rights and the rights of other children unnecessarily hurt by the Indian Child Welfare Act.”
“We will continue to advocate on Lexi’s behalf. We are her parents and will never give up on her. Our home will always be her home and we know that one day we will be able to hold her in our arms again. One day she will know how many people fought for her. Lexi, we love you forever and ever.”
A state appeals court in July upheld the girl’s removal from the Page home, and the state Supreme Court declined to review the case, clearing the way for the family to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene. Without comment, the nation’s highest court denied the petition.
Officials with the Choctaw Nation have said previously they desire “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.”