Michigan targets parents in genital mutilation investigation

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (AP) — A lawyer says Michigan’s child welfare agency is moving to terminate parental rights in at least two Detroit-area families in an investigation of female genital mutilation.

Margaret Raben (RAY’-bin) said Saturday that the parents have been told to report to Oakland County court in a few days. She hasn’t seen any formal documents. The children haven’t been removed from their homes.

The Department of Health and Human Services won’t comment.

Raben says the children are “beautiful, loved and cared for.” The families belong to a Muslim sect called Dawoodi Bohra. Three members are charged with genital mutilation involving two Minnesota girls. They’ve pleaded not guilty.

Genital mutilation, also known as female circumcision, is outlawed in the United States. But the practice is common in parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

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