“Common Misconceptions” vs Court Documents in the Lexi case

So I haven’t been about awhile, real life has DEFINITELY kicked in of late.   But the case for Lexi has come back from the court of appeals with a set of documents even more damning for the foster parents then the earlier court of appeals.

Newest Court of Appeals Document

For those that had not seen it – the newest case is right here – and it’s a doozy with much more information then the previous case, where several supporters are even aghast with how much had been left out.

I don’t know if Jessica Munday is at least directing this public relations campaign from behind the scenes but the similarities between the campaign on both this and Sonya’s case are pretty striking.   Combine this with the fact that both she and Johnston Moore (who is an admin on the Save Lexi page) are both involved in CAMI, it’s a pretty good bet.

Currently on the Save Our Lexi webpage there are a set of distinct “Common Misconceptions” and I thought I’d go through a few of them in comparison with the court documents – although according to them, the court documents lie about everything.

So the first thing they wanted to address is that the Page’s were not authorized to be an adoptive placement.

Adoptive Placement

So let’s start talking about how the Utah family was supposed to be the adoptive family from the get go.

Firstly there is the bit they quoted from both Court of Appeal documents:

“At some point after father’s reunification efforts failed, the P.s decided they wanted to adopt Alexandria. They discussed the issue with the Department social worker, who advised them that the tribe had selected the R.s as the planned adoptive placement.”

It goes farther then this though.   California has its OWN version of the Indian Child Welfare Act which strengthens the Federal standards.   So under California state law, still Lexi would have gone to her relatives.

All of the bits within this full code are here – including parts of the state law that the website has omitted – but it does walk through exactly how things work for an Indian child.

In addition, California law mirrors ICWA in the idea that family comes first – if there is no other options THEN an unrelated adoption can occur.  This was obviously not the case here.

Furthermore, a court order to stay the transfer does NOT mean that the child was adoptable – what it DOES mean is that the courts were going to take the time to see what they had to say.   They have heard it, and multiple times it has been denied.   So that argument is moot.

Lexi’s siblings are the next point.

Beyond all the back and forth about the subject of her siblings (Including Lori McGill’s “There is no evidence that her siblings are with her”) – they have put this tasty tidbit on their page.

siblings

Stop right here.

The latest court of appeals documents contradict this in the largest possible way.

“The R.s have an ongoing relationship with Alexandria’s half-sister, Anna, who visits the R.s on holidays and for a week or two during the summer. Anna and Alexandria have the same paternal grandmother (who has since passed away) and step-grandfather, and the step-grandfather has designated the R.s to care for Anna if he should become unable to care for Anna.”  (Page 10)

“The R.s would usually include Alexandria’s older half-sister, Anna, in the visits. Alexandria first met Anna during a July 2013 visit, when Anna was about 12 years old. Anna lived with the R.s for a time, but by September 2015, she had moved down the street from the R.s. Alexandria’s younger half-sister Kayla was born in March 2015, and was being cared for by R.s. Alexandria responded to Kayla positively during  Alexandria’s first overnight visit with the R.s in April 2015. On a visit to Utah, Alexandria left Post-its around the house, including one on Kayla’s swing, because she did not want her sister to forget her.”  (Page 13-14)

“A social worker traveled with her, observed her transition to the R.s, and reported that Alexandria was excited about the visit and appeared to be comfortable in the R. home. On the return trip, Alexandria told the social worker she had a great time and would like to visit her sister and the R.s again. The P.s felt that Alexandria was too young for overnight visits, noting that they would not let their son of the same age stay with someone overnight. ” (Page 14)

“Alexandria had been able to form meaningful and affectionate collateral attachments to the R.s and her half-sisters, Anna and Kayla. Doi Fick noted that if Alexandria were to lose her strong sibling relationship with Anna, it would shake her sense of identity. Both Doi Fick and Alexandria’s therapist Wejbe felt the R.s would be supportive of a continued relationship between Alexandria and the P.s. Both also expressed concern that the P. family would be unable to support a continuing relationship between Alexandria and the R.s and her half-sisters, Anna and Kayla.” (Page 29)

That statement is a large lie in this case – Anna and Kayla are close to Lexi and the concern with the expert that the Page’s agreed upon is that the Page’s were NOT going to support a continued relationship with the sisters.   Based on other things brought up in the Court of Appeals document I think this is a valid point.

Media

So let’s start with the court document from the latest court of appeals.

“The court ordered Alexandria to be placed with the R.s and imposed a seven-day stay, after which Alexandria would be moved without a transition plan.

The P.s filed a notice of appeal, and also sought another writ of supersedeas to stay Alexandria’s transfer. We denied the writ petition on March 18, 2016.”

Based on the way that they kept calling protesters to the house, I somehow doubt that there would have been any way that a private transaction would have taken place.

Calling Troy Dunn?   NOT protecting Lexi.   Calling the media?   Calling protesters?   Not protecting her.

So get off that high horse now.   I would say that they POSSIBLY didn’t realize that DCFS would do it but I also don’t think that DCFS had many options.

I’ll go into the other issues later but I’d also like to address the concept that Summer is native and therefore would be suited to teaching Lexi about her culture.

This is all from the court of appeals documents:

“The P.s have described efforts they made to incorporate Native American culture into their lives. Summer P. has Southern Tuscarora heritage, but the tribe is not enrolling new members and is not a federally recognized tribe. They have painted one wall of their kitchen “Navajo Blue,” and are members of the Autry Museum, participating in Native American arts and crafts activities. They attend an annual pow-wow, and shortly before the September 2015 good cause hearing, Summer and Alexandria attending a sage burning ceremony. However, Summer declined to participate in a part of the activity, and did not encourage Alexandria to participate.”

In addition:

“Those other factors include Alexandria’s relationship with her extended family and half-siblings; the capacity of her extended family to maintain and develop her sense of self-identity, including her cultural identity and connection to the Choctaw tribal culture; and the P.s’ relative reluctance or resistance to foster Alexandria’s relationship with her extended family or encourage exploration of and exposure to her Choctaw cultural identity.”

And:

“After remand, the case was assigned to Judge Trendacosta, who ordered individual therapy for Alexandria in December 2014.8 Alexandria seemed happier and less anxious in individual sessions and was much more open about discussing family. Wejbe felt that Summer P. was reluctant to implement some of the therapy tools she suggested for Alexandria in the home, and the P. family did not attend many of the cultural activities offered through United American Indian Involvement. During one session, Wejbe made a dreamcatcher with Alexandria. Summer P. testified the dreamcatcher had ended up in the trash.”

The court papers show a child who loved her extended family and was willing to go with them and also showed a foster family unwilling to literally foster this bond.

I’ll go more into it later, but this post is long enough.

 

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