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Baby Girl to Stay With Guardians

November 24, 2005|From Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A 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 Tennessee Court of Appeals ruling upheld a lower court decision that took away the parental rights of Shaoqiang "Jack" He and Qin Luo "Casey" He to their first-born, Anna Mae.

The five-year struggle by the Hes, Chinese citizens who live in Memphis, to regain custody of Anna Mae has drawn support from the Chinese Embassy in Washington and led Chinese groups to complain of cultural bias in Tennessee courts.

Shaoqiang He received word of the appeals court decision while at work as manager of a Chinese restaurant.

The decision will be appealed to the state Supreme Court, said David Siegel, a lawyer for the Hes. Anna Mae will remain with Jerry and Louise Baker, who have raised her since shortly after her birth in January 1999.

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