NE: Couple Fight to Have Foster Children Returned


OMAHA, Neb. -- An Omaha couple said they lost custody of their foster children because of religious discrimination, but they are fighting back. Fa'iz and Thurayya Rab have filed special motions to try to get their foster children -- in this case their niece and nephew -- back home. Their attorney, Jackie Madara-Campbell, said it's believed to be the first time these motions have ever been filed by foster parents in Nebraska. Thurayya and Fa'iz Rab The Rabs' 2-year-old and 3-year-old children are asking where their foster siblings went. The answer is, they were taken from the Rabs by the state last summer. They had been with Thurayya and Fa'iz since the oldest was a baby. "You raise children that you think you are going to adopt, and you love them like your own, and then they're ripped out of your home," Thurayya Rab said. Despite evidence to the contrary, the Rabs lost their foster son and daughter on charges they physically disciplined them.

The children are now wards of the state. The Rabs -- who are Muslims -- believe religious discrimination played a part. The couple said they discovered court testimony that branded them as terrorists. "Whatever religion I follow has no place in the courtroom," said Fa'iz Rab, who with his wife, has chosen to escalate the court battle to get the children back. "A lot of our options were running out and we faced a lot of obstacles from the opposing parties." The opposing parties include the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. The Rabs' attorney filed special motions against the department. "The evil act of a minority of zealots continues to cast unwarranted suspicion on the majority of faithful Muslims, the Rabs being the latest victims of this ignorance," Madara-Campbell said.

An HHS spokesperson said the department can't comment on the motions or the custody case. The motions, which are rarely used in foster cases, emphasize the Rabs' status as relatives of the children. (MORE)

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