International custody battle goes back to court - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

International custody battle goes back to court

An international custody battle that began in Memphis played out Wednesday in Tennessee Supreme Court.

Jack and Casey He filed suit against Jerry and Louise Baker, who adopted their daughter Anna Mae six years ago.  The Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled last year the Hes terminated their parental rights when custody of their daughter was granted to the Bakers.

Wednesday, the five justices of Tennessee's Supreme Court listened to oral arguments from five attorneys for just 70 minutes, a short amount of time compared to the almost 8 year old tug of war to raise a little girl named Anna Mae.
 
On one side was her biological parents, Jack and Casey He, who want their daughter back.

"I just want to say I love my daughter," Casey He said.  "I miss her."

On the other side, Jerry and Louise Baker, who have raised Anna Mae and want to adopt her.

"As far as she's concerned, we are her parents," Jerry Baker said. "As far as she's concerned, she's a Baker.  So it really doesn't matter what the courts decide.  She'll always be a part of our family."

The Hes claim they gave their three week old daughter to the Bakers temporarily, but the Bakers argue that the Hes gave up their parental rights when they failed to visit or provide support for four months.

Wednesday, the justices focused on whether or not the Hes knowingly gave up their parental rights.

"What they want is a family reunification," said David Segal, attorney for the Hes.  "They believe the law entitles them to just that."

After arguments, the case went into the hands of the court justices, who will now decide which family will be granted the right to raise Anna Mae.  The justices will not only consider oral arguments, but also written briefs given by the attorneys involved.  A ruling could come in the case at any time.

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