There is an argument that somehow the Pages are like the kind of people who forcible tear Lexi from her biological siblings. If they did such a thing, it would be very cruel. However, that argument is false.
Lexi did not come to the Page home with any siblings. Please read the account in the November 2014 court of appeal decision. The mother had already lost custody of her six other children. And the father had already lost custody of his other child. (Page 2) The first sibling relationships Lexi experienced are with the Page children. She has never lived with any other siblings.
According to the newspaper stories, there are two children who share a father with Lexi, one is a young lady who lives in Los Angeles County, the other is an infant in Utah (there are also six maternal siblings in LA County, which never hit the system’s radar, as if they are inferior because they come from the non-Indian side):
- When Lexi was first ordered to move to Utah in December of 2013, Lexi’s only siblings lived in LA County at that time. The birth father “lost custody of Alexandria’s older half-sister, Anna, an enrolled member of the tribe who currently lives in Los Angles with paternal step-grandfather, her adoptive parent.” (Page 4) Lexi also had “at least six other” (Page 2) siblings in LA County from the maternal side. What was the tribe’s rationale then? What was DCFS’ rationale then? What was Lexi’s attorney’s rationale then? Leslie Heimov from CLC said ““The law is very clear that siblings should be kept together whenever they can be and they should be placed together even if they were not initially together.” (http://www.dailynews.com/social-affairs/20160321/girl-who-is-part-choctaw-taken-from-santa-clarita-foster-familys-home) Interesting….They planned to move Lexi away from her all of her biological siblings on both sides along with the siblings SHE identified with: Madison, Caleb & Zoey. Once again, we will call it a “dual standard”.
- According to the media accounts we have read, it was not until last year that Lexi’s oldest paternal biological sibling moved to Utah. She lived “down the street” with other relatives. “Another sister of the girl will be living down the street, she said.” (http://www.dailynews.com/social-affairs/20160321/girl-who-is-part-choctaw-taken-from-santa-clarita-foster-familys-home) And, according to social media, she is now back in LA County (link not present for her privacy). Therefore, Lexi will not be living with one of her paternal biological siblings (and by moving to Utah, she will not even live in the same State as her six other biological siblings. But most importantly, she will be taken away from the siblings she’s known and identified with for most of her life.
- Heimov went as far as saying ““She has a loving relationship with them,”—interesting as there is no mention of that in the court documents and evidence—that would seem to be a violation of privacy.
- The new baby is exactly that, a 1 year old baby. Interestingly, FOSTER placement with the family in Utah is very suspect. As it is an ICWA foster placement, there is no guarantee that they will be able to adopt the baby. Under ICWA, “foster care placements must be made within reasonable proximity to the child’s home” (1915(a)). Additionally, Welfare & Institution codes require a foster child be placed with siblings when possible—that would have meant that when the child entered foster care, she should have been placed with Lexi at the Pages, rather than the other way around. It’s unclear how placement is consistent with the ICWA; the status of placement is also unclear (temporary vs pre-adoptive).
- Lexi has formed a VERY deep bond and attachment with Madison, Caleb & Zoey. These types of attachments, in Lexi’s eyes, are sibling attachments. “She considers Russell and Summer P. her parents and the P. children her siblings.” (Page 11) These are the only sibling relationships on record and are completely uncontested.