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Mary Beth Whitehead’s Role--After Baby M

Will Mary Beth Whitehead never go away?

Baby M is now 3 years old. The courts have ruled, and re-ruled, about who should get custody of her. Even Mary Beth Whitehead-Gould acknowledges that she and the Sterns have buried the hatchet. Thus, I was appalled to open the paper and see Whitehead-Gould using a public forum to state her case yet again (“After Baby M” by Donald P. Myers, Newsday, March 6).

In your long article Whitehead-Gould asks sarcastically, “What did Bill Stern do? He put some sperm in a cup.” She says that the judge who originally awarded custody to the Sterns is a “rotten, horrible man, and I don’t know how he sleeps at night.” Further, “When she grows up, Sassy (Baby M) may look at Bill Stern and say, ‘How could you do that to my mother?’ ” She also says that "(the Sterns are) naive to think that this child is not going to have problems.”

I cannot help but wonder what will Melissa Stern think when she grows up and discovers that her biological mother has profited from the telling of her misfortune? What will Melissa Stern think when she’s old enough to realize that her biological mother continued to denigrate both her father and the woman who raised her, in public, years after the courts had made their decision? What will Melissa Stern think when she realizes that her biological mother would not let her grow up peacefully, and quietly?

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DAVID T. LEVINSON

Los Angeles


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