High court to hear appeal in international child custody case

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear arguments in an international child custody case from Memphis.

A Chinese couple had asked the high court to return the six-year-old daughter they put in foster care shortly after her birth, arguing that Tennessee laws on child custody and abandonment are confusing.

Shaoquiang and Qin Luo He also argue that parents who voluntarily put their children in foster care have fewer legal protections under Tennessee law than those whose offspring are taken from them by the state.

The Hes are trying to regain custody of daughter Anna Mae, who has lived with an American couple, Jerry and Louise Baker, since she was three weeks old.

The Bakers' efforts to adopt Anna Mae over her biological parents' objections have drawn the attention of the Chinese embassy in Washington and led Chinese community groups to complain of cultural bias in Tennessee courts.

Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the He's appeal and turned down a petion by the Bakers to dismiss the appeal.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)