Foster parents lose appeals fight for American Indian girl

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LOS ANGELES -€” A California appeals court has affirmed a lower court's decision to remove a 6-year-old girl with Native American ancestry from her foster family and reunite her with relatives in Utah.

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The girl, who's part Choctaw, lived with a Southern California couple for four years before being removed in a tearful parting in March. She was placed with extended family in Utah under the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, which was passed in the 1970s to prevent the breakup of Native American families.

The girl's former foster parents argued it's in her best interest to return to them because she has developed a bond.

However, a three-judge panel in Los Angeles found the foster parents did not prove that there was a "good cause" exception to the placement preferences in the law.