November 27, 2005
Tennessee Appeals Court Rules Against Biological Parents of 6-Year-Old Chinese Girl
A Tennessee state appeals court Wednesday refused to return a 6-year-old Chinese girl to her biological parents, who put her in the custody of an American couple shortly after her birth. The 2-1 ruling upheld a lower court decision that took away the parental rights of the Chinese couple on the basis that they had willfully abandoned the child and permits Jerry and Louise Baker to proceed with adopting the girl. She has been with the Baker’s since she was three years old. The five-year struggle by the child’s biological parents has drawn support from the Chinese Embassy in Washington and led Chinese community groups to complain of cultural bias in Tennessee courts. The biological parents, who were facing financial and legal troubles when their daughter was born, say they thought they were putting her in temporary foster care. According to their attorney, the case will be appealed to the state Supreme Court. Source. Woody Baird, Associated Press, Heraldonline.com. Please click here for additional information (last visited November 27, 2005, reo).
The case is In re A.M.H. v. Shao-Quiang He, 2005 Tenn. App. LEXIS 736 (November 23, 2005) and the opinion is on the web at http://www.tsc.state.tn.us/OPINIONS/tca/PDF/054/BakerJerryLOPN.pdf (last visited December 1, 2005 bgf)