An Oakland County Juvenile Court referee authorized a petition Tuesday that could eventually end the parental rights of a Farmington Hills couple facing federal charges of conspiracy to commit female genital mutilation on young girls.

Dr. Fakhruddin Attar and his wife, Farida, are both jailed and did not attend the preliminary probable cause hearing on a request from child welfare officials seeking to terminate custody of their daughter.

Referee Karla Mallett said she decided to forward the petition to a judge after hearing concerns Tuesday from a state Child Protection Service worker and a doctor who examined the Attars' daughter.

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