B.C. foster parents want court order stopping province from removing Metis girl

B.C. foster parents are fighting to adopt a Metis toddler who's been with them since her birth. Photo by The Canadian Press.

VANCOUVER — Lawyers for British Columbia foster parents fighting to adopt a Metis toddler they have raised since birth are expected to be in the Court of Appeal today.

The Vancouver Island couple, who cannot be named, are seeking an interim order to prevent the Children's Ministry from taking the toddler before their appeal of a lower-court ruling can be heard.

The ministry wants to move the two-and-a-half-year-old girl to Ontario to live with her older siblings, who she has never met.

The foster mother is Metis, while the caregivers in Ontario are not, pitting the importance of cultural background against that of blood relatives.

Last week, a B.C. Supreme Court judge dismissed the couple's petition to stop the ministry from moving the girl, finding it was an abuse of process because a similar petition filed by the foster parents had already been dismissed.

The couple has filed an appeal of the decision but it could be some time before it can be heard, and in the meantime, they want an interim order to stop the ministry from moving the toddler.

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