Last week the Chinese father told the Commercial Appeal that he had given up plans to appeal a circuit court judgeís decision and regain custody of his daughter. ìI was extremely depressed at that time and felt that I was not a good father, good husband, and not a capable man,î he said about his comments in that paper. ìI was under extreme pressure at that time by my lawyer (David Siegel) to come up with $25,000 to $30,000 to pay for court documents needed for the appeal.î
He had told the paper that he felt he would return to China in the next two months with or without his family.
ìI now and still think we have some hope. I also have a good wife and she has always stood by me, and we will stay and fight together now,î he said.
Jack and his wife Casey are appealing a decision handed down by Judge Robert Childers last month, which terminated the coupleís parental rights towards their biological daughter, five-year-old Anna Mae He. The Hes had placed the child with a foster couple, Jerry and Louise Baker, for what they thought was temporary custody shortly after her birth. The Bakers said the Chinese couple abandoned the child by not paying child support while in their care and making only brief visits to see the her at their home.
After a 10-day trial in March, Childers ruled in favor of the Bakers, and the Hes and their attorneys immediately appealed.
Mr. He estimated his personal expenditures for the case has been about $17,000, including $15,000 ordered for both sides, to pay for Anna Maeís attorneyís fees, and costs of depositions and transcriptions. Initial fund-raising efforts through the Anna Mae He Foundation, that had netted $24,000, were determined by Childers to belong to the child and not to be used to assist her parents. A second fund established by the coupleís supporters has raised ìless than $1,000,î said Mr. He. A garage sale fund-raiser in their honor will be held this Saturday in Germantown.