Anne Mae He is back in China but not happy about it, apparently. Her parents, Jack and Casey He, have split, Anna Mae is at boarding school during the week, and Anna Mae doesn't like the pollution! On that one, we can probably agree.
The story does not go into the protracted fight the Jerry and Louise Baker put up when the Hes wanted their daughter back. Though her father, Jack, was a graduate student, he and mother Casey apparently did not understand when they signed over custody, it would not be a simple thing to undo it. Apparently in China it is not unusual for family members to temporarily take care of a child, and the Hes understood the arrangement to be a similar one.
But there was never a permanent relinquishment agreement, nor did the Hes ever intend this to be an adoption. The agency--it was connected with some Christian group--was at fault for not making sure Anna Mae's mother, Casey, understood what was happening. Soon after her first birth, the Hes asked for Anna back but the Bakers dug in and had plenty of cash to throw at lawyers. Basically, their argument was that they had more money...and gosh, now the girl has bonded with us and we can't/won't give her back.
At one point, the Bakers took out a restraining order against the Hes. I spoke to the lawyer for the Hes before the Tennessee Supreme Court made its decision, and he said that cultural issues as well as bias against the poorer Chinese couple were at play as the lower courts let the child stay with the Bakers. For further complicate matters, Jack He was difficult and not likable enough when he gave testimony, and that further prejudiced the courts against him.
But basically, as the lower courts decided against the natural parents, it was another example of a prevailing attitude we often come up against: that money trumps blood.
Not on your life. --lorraine
And for a good time, read on. (And click on the green line to get your green backs.) This was what I found when I clicked on one of the ads below the Anna Mae story on the CNN website:
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