A white couple who say they have been denied the right to continue fostering a black child have vowed to fight authorities to overturn the decision.
For five months, foster parents Ben and Sarah FitzPatrick, gave the child a loving home but on Monday were told the baby could be taken away as early as Friday. A pair of Norfolk social workers visited their home and said because their foster baby is black, the child would be better off with African-American foster parents.
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A Norfolk City Council official says that his workers do not make race-based placement decisions, but they do consider "the will of the biological parents."
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A subsequent report by NewsChannel 3 says Norfolk allows biological parents who have lost custody of their child to ask for foster parents of a specific race and the investigation alleges this practice is highly unusual and it might even be illegal.
In the televised interview Norfolk's Human Services director Stephen Hawks said, "we do have to consider the will of the biological parents as one of the factors in making a decision on the appropriate placement of the child." He adds, "It's not the only factor, but that is one factor in determining the appropriate placement for a child."
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