Santa Clarita foster family 'will never ever stop fighting' for part-Choctaw girl

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Summer and Rusty Page say they "will never ever stop fighting for Lexi," their 6-year-old foster daughter who was taken from their Santa Clarita home and placed with relatives in Utah under the federal Indian Child Welfare Act.

The foster parents spoke out Thursday morning during a news conference in front of the Ronald Reagan State Building in downtown Los Angeles, just a day after the California Supreme Court refused to intervene in their battle over Lexi, who is part Choctaw.

"While the past 10 days have been complete anguish for our family, there's no way our pain can compare to the confusion and disorientation that Lexi is experiencing," Rusty Page said. "Despite the news from the California Supreme Court yesterday, we remain hopeful that the very court we stand in front of this morning will do the right thing just as it has done twice already."

The legal fight has gone on for years. Lower courts found the Pages had not proven Lexi would suffer emotional harm by the transfer.

The Pages have three children and want to adopt Lexi, who has lived with them since she was 2.

Lexi cried and clutched a stuffed bear on Monday, March 21, 2016 as Rusty Page carried her out of his Santa Clarita home and social workers whisked her away.

Lexi clutched a teddy bear and cried as she was taken from the Pages' home on March 21 as neighbors prayed and sang hymns in support of the family.

"There's no doubt in my mind that what happened to Lexi should have never occurred," said Lauren Axline, a former foster care worked who handled Lexi's case in the past.

The Pages said they had not spoken with Lexi since she was removed from their home and continue to asked her relatives in Utah to allow communication.

The Indian Child Welfare Act was passed in the 1970s to reunite Native American families broken up at disproportionately high rates due to cultural ignorance and biases within the child welfare system.

Lexi, who is 1/64th Native American, was 17 months old when she was removed from the of her birth parents. Her mother had substance abuse problems, and her father had a criminal history, according to court records.

The appeal to return Lexi to the Pages is still before the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles. The Pages' lawyer, Lori Alvino McGill, said she plans to take the case as far as the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Thursday, in a statement to ABC7, the Choctaw Nation said, "We are pleased with the state Supreme Court's decision, but what is most important is that Lexi is settling into her new, loving home with her family."

The Associated Press contributed to this report null
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