Thursday, October 05, 2000

Ohio court declines to review Justin case

The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — The Ohio Supreme Court said Wednesday it won't review its decision to send a custody battle between an Ohio family and a Florence couple back to the Kentucky courts.

        Richard and Cheryl Asente of Girard had wanted Ohio to get jurisdiction because an Ohio judge — unlike one in Kentucky — had agreed to a hearing on what is in the best interest of the 3 1/2-year-old boy they are trying to adopt. Adoption experts say parents who win such a hearing almost always prevail.

        The Asentes had asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its refusal in August to intervene in the case.

        Last month, a Kentucky appeals court ruled that the boy, Justin, should remain with the Asentes and not his birth parents, Regina Moore and Jerry Dorning, who gave him up but then changed their minds.

        The Asentes want the original trial court judge in Kentucky to rule that the forms the boy's biological parents signed giving their consent to the adoption were valid, their attorney, Susan Garner Eisenman, said Wednesday.

        Justin has been living with the Asentes since February 1998. Ms. Moore and Mr. Dorning, who are not married but live together, have had regular weekend visitation.


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