March 04, 2018 11:48 PM
(ABC 6 News) -- A Rochester family is looking for answers after they say their three foster kids were forced to move to another home on days' notice.
Alicia and Shawn Ober told ABC 6 News the three kids, ages 14, 9 and 4, were told Wednesday they would be moving to a new home Friday morning, just two days later. The kids had lived in their home for three years, and the youngest, at just 4, only knew their home as home.
"We're their eleventh home," Alicia said. "Now they're going on to their twelfth home and we don't know if they're actually going to get adopted or if they're going to keep getting bounced around."
The Obers were in the process of adopting the kids, who are half Native American, which makes their situation extra concerning, they said.
At issue is the Indian Child Welfare Act, which gives tribes the authority in cases involving foster home placement for kids of Native American descent. Originally passed in the late 1970s, the law was designed to prioritize extended family members or other Native Americans as caregivers for Native children in foster care as an effort to preserve their culture and history.
Since there are more children in need of homes than there are homes for them, other families like the Obers step up. But the Obers are concerned by the speed of the relocation, which they said happened without warning and required steps like pre-placement visits.
"They haven't met this family," Alicia said. "They told us this family was going to be their forever home and their adoptive home, and they told us that (we would be) as well."
Now, after three years, they've said their goodbyes, but more questions remain.
"We've taken the last three years to get to know them, to have them trust us enough to where they finally opened up, and then it was all just ripped away from them," Shawn said.
ABC 6 News reached out to the Leech Lake band of the Ojibwe tribe in northern Minnesota, the tribe handling the kids' case. Multiple phone calls have not been returned as of Sunday night.
Updated: March 04, 2018 11:48 PM
Created: March 04, 2018 10:15 PM
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