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For Baby M: Bonus on Birthdays

--Melissa Stern, also known as Baby M, turns 3 today--which means two birthday parties. She will have a party today at her home in Tenafly, N.J., with her father, William Stern, and his wife, Elizabeth. And she undoubtedly has already celebrated one. It was reported that Melissa spent the weekend with her mother, Mary Beth Whitehead-Gould, in Bayport, N.Y. But her mother, in an interview with Associated Press, would not comment on Melissa’s birthday. “I’m not at liberty to discuss” Melissa’s birthday, she told AP. The Baby M case attracted worldwide attention during a bitter legal battle over a $10,000 surrogacy contract. As the wife of Richard Whitehead, Whitehead-Gould had agreed to be artificially inseminated, but she reneged on the deal to turn the baby over to her natural father. She has since remarried. In 1987, a judge stripped her of all parental rights. However, the New Jersey Supreme Court restored her parental and visitation rights and prohibited surrogacy for pay in the state. Now, Whitehead-Gould, who calls her relations with the Sterns civil, said that she will be completing a 22-city tour to promote her book on the custody fight.

--For President Bush and his wife, Barbara, Easter is proving to be doubly enjoyable. The First Family on Sunday celebrated its first Easter in the White House, highlighted by the christening of 7-week-old Ashley Walker Bush, the Bushes’ latest grandchild. The ceremony took place in St. Alban’s Chapel on the grounds of the National Cathedral and was attended by three of the five Bush children and six of 11 grandchildren. Ashley is the daughter of Neil Bush, a Denver businessman, and his wife, Sharon. And today, thousands are expected at the South Lawn of the White House as the President and the First Lady kick off the annual Easter egg roll and egg hunt. The only requirement for attendance at the event is that one has to be accompanied by a child 8 years of age or younger.

--Continuing with this children’s Easter parade, Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is expecting her second child, family members said. The first woman to lead a modern Muslim country, Bhutto, 35, is married to Asif Zardari, a wealthy landowner, and the couple have a 6-month-old boy, Bilawal. Her People’s Party swept to victory five months ago in Pakistan’s first free elections in more than 10 years. Bhutto’s father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was overthrown in a coup in 1977 and was convicted on a murder conspiracy charge. He was executed two years later.


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