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Chinese birth parents' victory on custody stands in Tennessee

June 26, 2007|From the Associated Press

MEMPHIS, TENN. — The U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to get involved in a custody fight over an 8-year-old girl whose Chinese parents have been trying for seven years to get back from temporary foster care.

Without comment, the high court rejected a request to review a Tennessee Supreme Court ruling that Anna Mae He must be returned to birth parents Shaoqiang and Qin Luo He.

"This is wonderful news for my family," Shaoqiang He said of the high court decision.

The Hes, Chinese nationals who came to Memphis so Shaoqiang He could attend college, put their then-month-old daughter in the home of an American couple because of financial hardships. But the couple, Jerry and Louise Baker, refused to return Anna Mae when her parents began trying to get her back from the private foster-care arrangement.

A juvenile court is overseeing the He family reunion. The Hes began visiting their daughter in March and are expected to regain custody in late July, according to court records.

The Bakers' request to the high court was aimed at stopping the reunion visits.

"Basically, this kind of ends the battle," said He lawyer David Siegel.

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