Wednesday, August 30, 2000

Justin's case now moves to Oprah's show

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The custody battle over 3-year-old Justin will be featured on the Oprah Winfrey show today (4 p.m., Channels 2, 9).

        Rich and Cheryl Asente, the Girard, Ohio, couple trying to adopt Justin, will appear on the live telecast, an Oprah show publicist said Tuesday. An attorney for the birth parents, Regina Moore and Jerry Dorning of Florence, declined to participate in the show, the publicist says.

        The Asentes will be one of four or five groups of people participating in a show about “The Biggest Fight of Their Lives.”

        The Ohio Supreme Court ruled last week that jurisdiction over the case should remain in Kentucky, not Ohio, where the Asentes wanted it. So far, legal questions have surrounded whether Ms. Moore and Mr. Dorning knew what they were doing when they consented to letting Justin live with the Asentes.

        The Asentes say the couple must have, given that a similar adoption already had taken place between the two couples over their older son. They wanted Ohio courts to have jurisdiction and take up the issue of Justin's best interest.

        Justin went to live with the Asentes in February 1998.


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