The children, a boy and a girl were 14 1/2 and 11 1/3 at the date of the alleged wrongful removal. They had lived in Australia all of their lives. The parents were separated. The mother had custody and the father access. On 17 December 1996 the mother took the children to the United States.
The father instituted Convention proceedings in the United States for the return of the children. The District Court for the District of Oregon dismissed the father’s application on the basis that the children wished to remain in the United States. On 18 December 1996 the father filed an application in the Family Court of Australia seeking an order for interim residence. On 10 February 1997 he filed an application for final residence orders.
On 4 February the mother filed a Response seeking the dismissal of the father’s application on its merits. On 19 February the trial judge dismissed the father’s residence applications on the basis that the Convention application had failed and that the appropriate forum for determining residence was now Oregon. The father appealed.