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Anna Nicole Dispute Shows System’s Flaws
Chicago Sun-Times ^ | 3/10/07 | By Jeffery M. Leving and Glenn Sacks

Posted on 03/14/2007 11:08:35 AM PDT by PercivalWalks

Behind the Anna Nicole Smith circus lies an important truth about fathers’ rights. The long line of opportunistic men who have lined up to be Smith’s baby’s dad since Smith’s death has diverted attention from the case’s key fact: photographer Larry Birkhead, Smith’s ex-boyfriend, has a legitimate claim to paternity. He has been thwarted for several months by the same legal maneuvers which are often employed to separate fathers from their children.

Long before Smith died and her estate became an issue, Birkhead had filed for a DNA test to determine the paternity of Smith’s baby. In December he told the Associated Press, “I am the father of Dannielynn and I think this is…a crime. I expect to be reunited with my daughter.” Birkhead says he and Smith had picked out baby names, shopped for items for the baby, and had put their thumb prints in a baby book as the child’s parents. Nevertheless, the baby has lived at the home of Smith and her attorney/boyfriend Howard K. Stern in the Bahamas since birth.

Rather than allow the DNA test, Smith and Stern apparently decided to use a common ploy in paternity cases—they stalled. If the DNA test is delayed long enough, by the time biological paternity is established the judge deciding custody will likely decide that Stern is the baby’s “psychological parent.”

Judges are understandably reluctant to remove infants from the care of the only parent or parents they’ve known, regardless of actual paternity. Stern is many things, but he isn’t stupid. He knows that in child custody cases the baby is like the football in a football game—whoever has possession is in control.

This tactic is frequently employed in adoption cases. For example, in the highly-publicized Huddleston case in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Mark Huddleston’s baby boy was adopted out when he was three days old, but Huddleston didn’t know the baby existed until two months after his birth. A New Mexico court later found that the private adoption agency hadn’t properly notified Huddleston, and had needed to get Huddleston’s permission before giving his son away.

Nonetheless, the stall tactic worked–by the time the case was finally legally adjudicated, the boy had been with his adoptive parents for over a year, and the judge ruled it was in the child’s best interests to remain with them.

Time is running out for Birkhead—Dannielynn is already over five months old, and once a baby reaches six months it is quite possible to get judges to rule in favor of the “psychological parent,” rather than the biological one. After a year it becomes practically a slam dunk. If Stern is like most litigants in this situation, he probably already has a mental health professional or two on tap to testify in court as to his bond with the baby. He probably also has extensive video tapes documenting his interactions with the girl.

The way to combat these machinations is for family courts to order mandatory DNA testing of all babies within 30 days of a putative father’s filing for paternity. When these orders are flouted, as they often are, judges must be willing to give their orders teeth by meting out punishments for contempt of court. Moreover, most fathers do not have the legal resources to fight long legal battles—courts must be proactive in resolving paternity claims quickly and correctly.

A father has the right to parent his own child. The Smith case demonstrates how easily mothers and their new partners are able to violate that right.

This column appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Jeffery M. Leving is one of America’s most prominent family law attorneys. Glenn Sacks’ columns on men’s and fathers’ issues have appeared in dozens of the largest newspapers in the United States.


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: annanicolesmith; ans; dannielynn; howardkstern; larrybirkhead
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1 posted on 03/14/2007 11:08:41 AM PDT by PercivalWalks
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To: PercivalWalks

Paternity is the only thing that matters and yes, from what I gather, Stern's attorneys are heading down the psychological parent route. Swab the baby. Give her to her father and put Stern in prison - for something/anything.


2 posted on 03/14/2007 11:13:16 AM PDT by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: PercivalWalks

One problem with the article. The authors fail to take into account that Howard K. Stern has kept Anna Nicole drugged to the gills, and that he drew up that will of hers, which she signed under the influence. This isn't your ordinary "screw the rightful father" case.

We won't get into possible homicide charges...yet.


3 posted on 03/14/2007 11:15:58 AM PDT by TheSpottedOwl (Head Caterer for the FIRM)
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To: PercivalWalks
And Anna Nicole shows our society's problems.

First in succeeding as a 'star'... and now with months of 7x24 news coverage.

Look at the number of post on FR even.

4 posted on 03/14/2007 11:16:27 AM PDT by nctexan (Top 10 Presidential Reqs. for 2008 - see my homepage)
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To: sodpoodle; Howlin

FYI...(can't remember who has the ANS ping list)


5 posted on 03/14/2007 11:17:25 AM PDT by TheSpottedOwl (Head Caterer for the FIRM)
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To: PercivalWalks

"A father has the right to parent his own child. The Smith case demonstrates how easily mothers and their new partners are able to violate that right."

Typical lawyerese. While I agree DNA testing needs to be mightily reinforced, asserting a father's right to parent his own child without recognizing the mother's exact same right is ludicrous and would be an embarrassment to anyone but a politician or a lawyer.


6 posted on 03/14/2007 11:17:28 AM PDT by gcruse
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There's an easy way to deal with this. It's called marriage. I don't think that men who father children out of wedlock should have the right to take the children out of a loving family environment, whether it's provided by the mother or adoptive parents.


7 posted on 03/14/2007 11:18:44 AM PDT by webboy45
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To: TheSpottedOwl

Hmm. If NASA is pronounced 'nassuh', how do you pronounce ANS?


8 posted on 03/14/2007 11:19:56 AM PDT by gcruse
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To: gcruse

Rhymes with heinous.


9 posted on 03/14/2007 11:22:03 AM PDT by steve8714 (If Algore is worried about Global Warming he should become a Vegan.)
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To: PercivalWalks
...the case’s key fact: photographer Larry Birkhead, Smith’s ex-boyfriend, has a legitimate claim to paternity.

Why is it "legitimate"? Because he makes the claim that he is the father? Is that all it takes? Anyone can make a claim to be a child's father and the allegation is deemed to be legitimate?

The way to combat these machinations is for family courts to order mandatory DNA testing of all babies within 30 days of a putative father’s filing for paternity.

So, all it takes is someone's allegation that he is the father of a child, and the government gets to obtain a sample of a baby's DNA? Shouldn't the taking of such a sample require, at the very minimum, probable cause, like it does in most criminal cases? Why should the privacy interests of a baby be less valued than the privacy interests of a criminal defendant?
10 posted on 03/14/2007 11:22:36 AM PDT by HaveHadEnough
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To: sageb1

Birkhead will get his baby. Stern, well, he'll get his.


11 posted on 03/14/2007 11:23:38 AM PDT by Hildy (RINO=RUDY IS NUMBER ONE)
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To: webboy45

I believe Birkhead wanted to marry her, which is exactly why Stern spirited her away to the Bahamas.

That, and the fact that the baby was obviously going to test positive for drugs.


12 posted on 03/14/2007 11:23:56 AM PDT by Howlin (Honk if you like Fred Thompson!!!)
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To: Hildy

That's how this appears to be playing out.


13 posted on 03/14/2007 11:24:46 AM PDT by veronica ('My 80% ally is not my 20% enemy.' ........Rudy reminds us what Ronald Reagan said.)
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To: HaveHadEnough
There's plenty of probable cause in this case, namely that she told him he's the father and took him to all the baby doctor visits.

Why should the privacy interests of a baby be less valued than the privacy interests of a criminal defendant?

You'll have to ask Howard Stern that; he's the one leading this particular circus.

14 posted on 03/14/2007 11:26:03 AM PDT by Howlin (Honk if you like Fred Thompson!!!)
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To: webboy45

You are being so judgmental! ;)

I couldn't agree with you more.


15 posted on 03/14/2007 11:35:43 AM PDT by greenthumb
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To: Howlin
There's plenty of probable cause in this case, namely that she told him he's the father and took him to all the baby doctor visits.

His statement that the deceased told him he was the father is a bit self-serving. I would think a stronger statement would be from her to third parties stating that he was the father.
16 posted on 03/14/2007 11:40:49 AM PDT by HaveHadEnough
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To: HaveHadEnough

Try to pay attention to the FACTS of the case; there is plenty of incidental evidence while she was alive that she had told him he was the father.

Until he brought up the fact that the drugs she was using might hurt HIS baby, things were fine.


17 posted on 03/14/2007 11:45:19 AM PDT by Howlin (Honk if you like Fred Thompson!!!)
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To: PercivalWalks

I believe the flaws revealed here are those of Anna Nicole Smith and her entourage. Can't wait for that DNA result. Just can't wait. Be ready!


18 posted on 03/14/2007 11:56:19 AM PDT by twonie (RUDY FOR PRESIDENT '08. THERE - A COMMITMENT OUT LOUD.)
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To: HaveHadEnough

"I would think a stronger statement would be from her to third parties stating that he was the father."

That occurred. Forget who.


19 posted on 03/14/2007 12:00:50 PM PDT by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: PercivalWalks

Anna who?


20 posted on 03/14/2007 12:05:40 PM PDT by kimmie7 (Liberals embrace the sin......Christians embrace the sinner.)
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To: kimmie7

I have my concerns with Birkhead too. I wonder if he would have been fighting so hard to get this baby without the money involved?!! I wonder if the baby is either of these 2 guys. Sounds like ANS was one busy lady as far as men were concerned! Looking at the baby it's hard to tell if she has features that stand out to tell between these 2 guys.


21 posted on 03/14/2007 12:14:12 PM PDT by LYSandra
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To: LYSandra

There are too many lawyers in America. Now you can't even bury a person without duelling lawsuits. It is insane.


22 posted on 03/14/2007 12:30:07 PM PDT by ClaireSolt (Have you have gotten mixed up in a mish-masher?)
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To: PercivalWalks

If any of you are unaware of this thread (#2 The Investigation) (#1 had over 25k posts and 300k views).

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1798451/posts

Take a look - very interesting time lines and links.

sp


23 posted on 03/14/2007 12:32:47 PM PDT by sodpoodle (Official Thread Nanny and former President of the Firm - an empty but prestigious title)
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To: PercivalWalks

ANY INVESTIGATION SHOULD INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
The death of a son - about to reach his majority (age 21)of undetermined manner and cause. Could be homicide.
The birth of a daughter - whose paternity and custody is in question - who may also have been born addicted to illegally obtained prescription drugs.
The premature, undetermined death of the infant's mother -could be homicide, suicide or misadventure.
Conspiracy to access a $1.6billion estate and eliminate per stirpes heirs.
Conspiracy by lawyers and foreign government officials to circumvent immigration laws for fraudulent purposes.
Intent to defraud owners of real property and real estate.
Illegal transportation of prescription drugs, by interstate and international waters.
Potential kidnapping of a US citizen.
Illegal disposition/seizure, by an officer of the court, of the remains of a US citizen in contravention of State Law (Florida)
Creation and presentation of fraudulent documents to avoid parental and custodial rights.
National media villification, defamation and causing pain and suffering to the biological mother and other blood next-of-kin of the decedent, for gain and profit.

IT IS EXPECTED THAT THE RIGHTS AND PROTECTION OF A MINOR US CITIZEN, BEING HELD HOSTAGE IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY, BY UNRELATED PERSONS, BE IMMEDIATELY REMOVED TO THE UNITED STATES AND EXAMINED TO DETERMINE HER PARENTAGE AND HEALTH STATUS.


24 posted on 03/14/2007 12:35:06 PM PDT by sodpoodle (Official Thread Nanny and former President of the Firm - an empty but prestigious title)
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To: HaveHadEnough

The fact that Stern refuses to take a DNA/paternity test leads me to believe that Birkhead is the biological father.

In addition, if that turns out to be true then it could backfire on Birkhead.

If tests prove that Birkhead is the father then it could turn out that Birkhead will wind up having to pay Stern child support because Stern is listed on the birth certificate.

I believe that would drive Birkhead insane.


25 posted on 03/14/2007 12:56:28 PM PDT by El Gran Salseron (The World-Famous, popular DJ and FReeper Canteen Certified, Equal-Opportunity, Male-Chauvinist-Pig!)
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To: El Gran Salseron

"""""If tests prove that Birkhead is the father then it could turn out that Birkhead will wind up having to pay Stern child support because Stern is listed on the birth certificate."""""
__________________________________________________________

Stern completed and signed the birth certificate - Birkhead can claim fraudulent/malicious intent to deprive him of parental rights.


26 posted on 03/14/2007 1:00:41 PM PDT by sodpoodle (Official Thread Nanny and former President of the Firm - an empty but prestigious title)
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To: sodpoodle

"""""If tests prove that Birkhead is the father then it could turn out that Birkhead will wind up having to pay Stern child support because Stern is listed on the birth certificate."""""
__________________________________________________________

Stern completed and signed the birth certificate - Birkhead can claim fraudulent/malicious intent to deprive him of parental rights.





No WAY should he have to pay child support NO WAY.
I wouldn't be surprised if he had to though. Sorry to say...
If she is his he should have her and it shouldn't take the courts 6 months to say wether he can or can't get a dna test done..my God the test should of been done asap..this is awful just awful and a total injustice.


27 posted on 03/14/2007 10:10:12 PM PDT by FactsNotHearsayPlease
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To: PercivalWalks
Stern has successfully put Larry off - no question about that. BUT the baby was born in the Bahamas and the laws are DIFFERENT there.

Most likely Stern will be criminally charged and that will end the sham of Stern keeping the baby. I suspect they are carefully maneuvering in this direction and trying to prove he murdered Danny and Anna.

I believe he murdered BOTH of them for money. Too many things about Stern smack of just wanting money ... do you think it's normal to have SEVEN, paid up in force life insurance policies on Anna as typical in her condition - totally out of it? It was just a matter of time till she went her sons route. Also meth is ILLEGAL in the Bahamas ... so the feel good doctor and Stern aren't looking to good. Stern in particular wouldn't be a "fit" parent ... there's hope ... I hope Larry does get the baby girl.
28 posted on 03/16/2007 7:47:20 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: PercivalWalks
Stern has successfully put Larry off - no question about that. BUT the baby was born in the Bahammas and the laws are DIFFERENT there.

Most likely Stern will be criminally charged and that will end the sham of Stern keeping the baby. I suspect they are carefully maneuvering in this direction and trying to prove he murdered Danny and Anna.

I believe he murdered BOTH of them for money. Too many things about Stern smack of just wanting money ... do you think it's normal to have SEVEN, paid up in force life insurance policies on Anna as typical in her condition - totally out of it? It was just a matter of time till she went her sons route. Also meth is ILLEGAL in the Bahamas ... so the feel good doctor and Stern aren't looking to good. Stern in particularly wouldn't be a "fit" parent ... there's hope ... I hope Larry does get the baby girl.

One more thing ... in the Bahammas it is at the PLEASURE of Stern to take a DNA test. Stern doesn't have to by Bahamma law take that DNA test and why he simply points to the birth certificate and cohabitation with Anna to being the father. In the Bahammas DNA is not important - rather who was living with her and the name on the birth certificate - it's WHY Stern moved this all to the Bahammas.
29 posted on 03/16/2007 7:51:04 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: Howlin

Agree!

I add that Stern simply wanted Anna for the money and isolated her so he could drug both of them and collect on the estate and insurance money.


30 posted on 03/16/2007 7:52:19 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: nmh

There was a day when I would have laughed at that theory, nmh.

Not anymore.


31 posted on 03/16/2007 7:54:09 AM PDT by Howlin (Honk if you like Fred Thompson!!!)
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To: nctexan
Frankly I'd never heard of her till she died on February 8, 2007. It's only March and her death and sons death is very suspicious. Plus when there is a baby involved ... some people do care about what happens to the baby. Personally I believe Stern murdered both of them and I'd like to see justice. Granted the lifestyle was horrid but that doesn't mean Stern should get away with murder and oodles of money that he didn't earn. Stern was a sadistic parasite that killed his cash cow.
32 posted on 03/16/2007 7:55:14 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: Hildy

Stern is a cold hearted monster addicted to money.


33 posted on 03/16/2007 7:56:10 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: Hildy

Stern is a cold hearted monster addicted to money.


34 posted on 03/16/2007 7:56:24 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: LYSandra

Unfortunately she had the morals of an alley cat in heat while in a drug haze. She was surrounded by enablers and isolated from people who genuinely cared about her. It could happen to anyone and does.


35 posted on 03/16/2007 7:58:46 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: El Gran Salseron

Not idf they prove Stern had a hand in Anna's death which I strongly believe he did.


36 posted on 03/16/2007 7:59:52 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: Howlin

IKt's crazy out there.

Dad stabbing their own baby in the back ... molesting their own kids ... awful.


37 posted on 03/16/2007 8:02:07 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: sageb1

"I would think a stronger statement would be from her to third parties stating that he was the father."

That occurred. Forget who."

She stated it to th3e world: She put Stern on the birth Certificate as the father. I believe in Bahamas that makes him the father.

I don't think a single person would be coming forward if it weren't for the money from Marshall's estate hanging in the balance.

The real problem is that ANS was a complete tramp who slept with more men than some of the girls working at the Mustang Ranch.
She had a long-standing drug problem, and I really don't believe that it would have mattered who was living with her. She had become an expert at obtaining drugs from a number of sources of her own. There are some people in the entertainment industry whose sole reason for existance is to provide illicit items for others. It is a much bigger problem than the public knows.

The part that struck me was watching the "mother" of ANS with all of her antics at the hearings, at the funeral, the grave, etc. Apples don't fall far from the tree. This woman is crazy as a crap house mouse. No wonder ANS didn't want anything more to do with her. I hope for one thing that she never succeeds in moving bodies to Texas. If nothing else, I think we know that ANS did NOT want that.


38 posted on 03/16/2007 8:09:46 AM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: ridesthemiles

"No wonder ANS didn't want anything more to do with her. I hope for one thing that she never succeeds in moving bodies to Texas. If nothing else, I think we know that ANS did NOT want that."

No, we don't know that. Mothers and daughters can have volatile relationships when there is a third party involved. Believe me.


39 posted on 03/16/2007 8:15:41 AM PDT by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: El Gran Salseron

The fact that Stern refuses to take a DNA/paternity test leads me to believe that Birkhead is the biological father.

In addition, if that turns out to be true then it could backfire on Birkhead.

If tests prove that Birkhead is the father then it could turn out that Birkhead will wind up having to pay Stern child support because Stern is listed on the birth certificate.

I believe that would drive Birkhead insane."

Don't forget the other flu in the ointment:

Stern is the legal executor of ANS estate. He has complete control of the money and by law is charged with providing for the baby and controlling the assets of the estate.

Only in America: Here we have a plethora of men coming forward claiming to be the father of this baby and Maury Povich has built a fortune with a show where women have been even more of a tramp and multitudes are trying to avoid being named a father!!!! One "mother" on that show has had 12 DNA tests, and the kid is 5 y/o and she still doesn't know who the father is. Astounding!!


40 posted on 03/16/2007 8:19:40 AM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: sodpoodle

Stern completed and signed the birth certificate "

Are you sure?

I was under the impression that ANS did that.


41 posted on 03/16/2007 8:26:42 AM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: nmh
Stern is a cold hearted monster addicted to money.

Sure appears to be the case.

42 posted on 03/16/2007 8:55:08 AM PDT by Hildy (RINO=RUDY IS NUMBER ONE)
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To: nmh
Stern is a cold hearted monster addicted to money.

Sure appears to be the case.

43 posted on 03/16/2007 8:55:20 AM PDT by Hildy (RINO=RUDY IS NUMBER ONE)
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To: TheSpottedOwl
Again, we're looking at another of the endless number of cases where messed-up adults cause great harm to innocent children. Are Anna Nicole's parents guilty for how their daughter turned out? Or did Anna choose to "rebel" against decent parents?

Either way, Anna Nicole Smith appears to be the author of this sickening circus. Her poor children are her victims.

...Stern has kept Anna Nicole drugged to the gills...he drew up that will of hers, which she signed under influence.

Obviously I missed that critical news. Who proved that, and when?

44 posted on 03/16/2007 9:57:20 PM PDT by IIntense
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To: gcruse

Nassau is pronounced Nassau and NASA is pronounced NASA.


45 posted on 03/16/2007 10:11:42 PM PDT by Texas Mom (Two places you're always welcome - church and Grandma's house.)
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To: webboy45
I don't think that men who father children out of wedlock...

Most of us know there's been a double standard in place for a very long time (maybe always). While there was/is zero-tolerance for women engaging in pre-marital sex, on the other side, it's: "Oh, com'n. Guys are guys. It's expected...understood." The girls bore the disgrace of pregnancy outside of marriage.

What's become obvious is that many young men who insist upon satisfying their desires are/have/and will often pay a very heavy price for that "freedom".

I'm simply advising that parents have to educate, and warn, their daughters and their sons of the real potential of life-long consequences of their choices.

I realize I'm coming off as "preachy". Catch me on a more light-hearted subject, one we all can get a laugh!

46 posted on 03/16/2007 10:23:29 PM PDT by IIntense
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To: sageb1

Howard K. Stern isnothing more than a criminal, sho is using an infant to obtain a fortune. He cares very little for this child; having exposed her to drugs which in utero. This article is spot on. Larry Birkhead has claimed since last September that the child is his and he wanted to have DNA testing, but he has been thwarted at every turn.

Where are the fathers' rights groups???? This is a scandal. And, just who is looking out for the best interest of the child? She has lost a brother and her mother to drug overdoses, likely facilitated by Stern. What are the authorities thinking leaving her in the custody of such a man? If she stays with Stern, I give her chances of being alive at the age of 10 years as slim to none.


47 posted on 03/16/2007 10:30:25 PM PDT by Gumdrop
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To: webboy45
There's an easy way to deal with this. It's called marriage.

If marriage were the answer in every one of these situations, it would be an easy way to deal with it. Aside from having a child born to married parents, marriage is not always the best answer. Sadly, in many cases, I'm sure, there IS no best answer.

Oh, yes. There is one. Don't conceive a child unless you are married. Easy to say, but it happens.

48 posted on 03/16/2007 10:35:49 PM PDT by IIntense
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To: Gumdrop

"He cares very little for this child"

You said it right there. She was always a child.


49 posted on 03/16/2007 11:54:16 PM PDT by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: PercivalWalks

The only flaw to the system is that a fat whore with money can have so many homosexuals fighting for her whore money.


50 posted on 03/16/2007 11:55:35 PM PDT by Porterville (Bullies love Peace and the Peaceful fight Wars.)
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