Rusty and Summer Page have several children, but they used to have one more. In spring of 2016, their foster daughter Lexi was removed from their home. Why? Because she was part Native American – 1.5 percent Choctaw, to be precise.
You may have heard that Native American children are particularly difficult to adopt, especially if you’re not part of a Native American tribe. That’s because of the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act, which states that “Indian children” can only be raised by other Native Americans. According to the National Indian Child Welfare Association, the law was passed because many Indian children were being taken from their homes, and it was decided that this act would help keep these families (and tribes in general) intact.
Obviously, some laws are abused, and many argue that Rusty and Summer Page are experiencing this abuse firsthand. The Pages have raised Lexi since she was a toddler. She is now six years old, and the Pages believe that she considers herself part of their family. They certainly consider her as their daughter, and they are fighting for her return through the court system.
As of June 2016, Lexi resides with distant family members in Utah, while her foster family continues to eagerly pursue her return. In the meantime, they have not been allowed to contact her directly, though they have sent her care packages.
Most prospective parents who dream of adopting a child are concerned with the legal battles they may face. While these types of cases are fairly rare, they do happen, and you need to be prepared for a strong legal battle when the situation presents itself. If you’re facing any type of difficult adoption case, an attorney’s guidance is incredibly helpful.