1. Headline
  1. Headline

Video: Birkhead: 'I'm the father'

By Senior legal analyst
updated 4/11/2007 1:05:24 PM ET 2007-04-11T17:05:24

We now know that Larry Birkhead is the biological father of Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern as he has maintained all along, despite the fact that another man's name is on her birth certificate.   Even though Anna Nicole named Howard K. Stern as her daughter's father, Larry never gave up his fight for his baby girl. 

And it seems his fight may be over soon. He just has one more foe to fend off— Virgie Arthur, the maternal grandmother.

It is believed that regardless of paternity, Arthur plans on fighting for custody of Dannielynn. Howard K. Stern has said that he will not fight Larry for custody, but that together, they will join forces to prevent Virgie Arthur from gaining custody.  

The test for parenthood is not solely biological. But even so, it seems likely Birkhead would win a custody battle over Virgie Arthur. The legal standard the courts apply is what is in "the best interests of the child."  Highly doubtful that Virgie Arthur would pass that test over Larry Birkhead. It would surely be pointed out that her skills at motherhood are questionable when one looks at the life led by her daughter, Anna Nicole. And her other son is reportedly a convicted felon who served time for aggravated kidnapping. The law typically favors a parent over a grandparent, unless the parent is proven unfit. And there is no evidence to suggest Birkhead is anything other than a fit parent.

So when do father and daughter go home?  Not so fast. The child cannot leave the Bahamas until the court rules on Arthur's petition for custody. A hearing is set for this Friday in the Bahamas.  I predict her motion will be swiftly denied.  Next, the court has to lift its current order which forbids anyone from removing Dannielynn from the Bahamas.  After that, assuming Stern hands over the child as he said he would, father and daughter will be free to fly home. Birkhead has said he is building a nursery for his daughter. Whether he is looking to line up child care depends on whether he has to work for a living. 

And all this brings us to the question of the money. Dannielynn's guardian must be able to use her money for her maintenance and support. If Dannielynn has a fortune of her own, her parent will have access to her fortune to raise her. Perhaps babysitters need not apply.

© 2013 msnbc.com Reprints


Discussion comments


More on TODAY.com

  1. Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

    Play nice: 4 ways to teach kindness and raise kids who aren't jerks

    7/24/2014 7:05:14 PM +00:00 2014-07-24T19:05:14
  1. Watch the full ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ trailer: What we couldn’t show on TV

    “Fifty Shades of Grey” fans, you’ve come to the right place. 

    7/24/2014 12:30:07 PM +00:00 2014-07-24T12:30:07
  2. video ‘Fifty Shades’ stars give first look at steamy film

    video Stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson offer TODAY viewers a sneak peek at the highly anticipated film. When Savannah Guthrie told Dornan that viewers had asked if he'd do the interview shirtless, he said, “I would have considered it.” 

    7/24/2014 5:22:44 PM +00:00 2014-07-24T17:22:44
  3. Not a date movie: Why ‘Fifty Shades’ a girls’ night hit

    Even though the film is opening on Valentine's Day — the biggest date night of the year — women are likely to turn the movie into a social event.

    7/24/2014 1:22:41 PM +00:00 2014-07-24T13:22:41
  4. Universal Pictures
  1. Air Algerie Flight AH5017 plane wreckage found   

    General Gilbert Diendere says the wreckage of Air Algerie Flight AH5017, which went missing with 116 people on board Thursday, has been found in Mali. 

    7/24/2014 2:47:05 PM +00:00 2014-07-24T14:47:05
  1. 5 things I wish my boss knew about fatherhood

    7/24/2014 6:28:13 PM +00:00 2014-07-24T18:28:13