A white Norfolk, Va., couple is fighting the state after officials threatened to take their black foster child away, according to WKTR. Foster parents Ben and Sarah FitzPatrick claim that Norfolk social workers are retaliating against the couple because the FitzPatricks blew the whistle about a baby they were caring for in Virginia Beach. Social workers transferred the child to another home, where he was eventually murdered. The FitzPatricks claim that social workers missed warning signs.

After the FitzPatricks went to News Channel 3 with their story, they received an apology from the agency's director, who admitted that it hadn't done enough and would conduct a public review. Right after that, the FitzPatricks claim, they received an email from a social worker saying, "Your appearance on tonight's news has caused some concern here. I want to talk to you about what is in your interview so that we can be prepared for any calls we may get. We are anxious about what is to come."

But when social workers arrived at her home, the FitzPatricks claim, they weren't there to speak about the comments but about their belief that the black child they were currently caring for would be better off with a black family.

Sarah said that line of thinking is against the law, and she is right. The federal Multiethnic Placement Act says "agencies can no longer routinely assume that placing children with parents of the same race is in the best interests of a child."


The city has now said its reasoning for wanting to take the couple's child away is confidential, but the Norfolk human-services director said that race could be a factor. "We do have to consider the will of the biological parent," said Stephen Hawks.

Read more at WKTR.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.