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Abstract

On June 3, 1993, the Michigan Supreme Court removed Jessica DeBoer, a two-and-one-half-year-old baby girl, from the only home she had ever known and sent her to live with strangers. The court made the decision to remove the child from her adoptive home and to return her to her biological parents after determining that the biological parents had a "right" to the baby. The court's action was the end result of a two-year-long custody battle in the courts of two different states. Adding to the confusion, the courts were obliged to interpret and rely upon a complicated, infrequently applied, and widely misunderstood federal statute, the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act ("PKPA"). Jessica's highly publicized case brought to light important problems in current adoption law.

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