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Appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court
The latest news in this case is that the Bakers are now appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.|
They aren't appealing on the basis of the legality of the ruling made on the State level -- in fact, the Tennessee Supreme Court effectively proved that they hadn't a legal leg to stand on and that Anna Mae rightfully belonged to her own parents.
The appeal is on the basis of the "emotional trauma" Anna Mae would experience on being removed from one family and placed in another.
Some points to consider:
1) The Bakers purposely prevented a relationship between Anna Mae and her Chinese parents all these years, so they could pull this, their ultimate trump card -- the "psychological suffering" the child would endure on being reunited with her own family (from which she was stolen years ago). This was a premeditated act on their part, and it would be immoral to reward such nefarious actions.
2) The report of the clinical psychologist (Dr. Cathy Collins) and the Guardian Ad Litem, appointed by the court to observe the reunion and provide counseling to Anna Mae and both families, and to ease the transition has been overwhelmingly positive. They said that the visits of Anna Mae with her true parents have been going well and the transition is going smoothly. However, Louise Baker leaked her journal to the press (against the express orders of the Judge) that contained lurid accounts of a pending emotional breakdown on the part of the child. Now, rational thinkers would know to take the word of neutral professionals over the word of a woman who has every reason to lie (and has lied in court previously and had her testimony contradicted by other neutral professionals).
3) I don't want to minimize the fact that this process will no doubt be painful for Anna Mae. At the same time, we must remember that she is being returned to the family that has loved and wanted her back for years. Longitudinal studies, several of which follow individuals over the course of a lifespan, have consistently documented that the vast majority of children encountering FAR WORSE trauma ( growing up in families with mentally ill, alcoholic, abusive, or criminally involved parents) do overcome the odds and turn a life trajectory of risk into one that manifests "resilience," the term used to describe a set of qualities that foster a process of successful adaptation and transformation despite risk and adversity. (one study is Werner, E., and R. Smith. (1992). Overcoming the Odds: High-Risk Children from Birth to Adulthood. New York: Cornell University Press, 1992. ED 344 979. ) According to this study, the important factor is the presence of at least one caring adult figure in their life. Well, Anna Mae will have a number of caring people in her life. She will have the love and support of her true parents. She has the help and assistence of the Guardian Ad Litem and Child Psychologist appointed by the courts. She will have the love and support of Jack and Casey He's pastor and church family (where Jack He is currently employed).