Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Newly Released Court Records Raise Doubts about Birth at Homer G. Phillips Hospital

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Newly Released Court Records Raise Doubts about Birth at Homer G. Phillips Hospital

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS * The city's family court has formally released the original birth certificate and adoption records of Melanie Gilmore, the woman at the center of controversy involving the former maternity ward of Homer G. Phillips Hospital.

Albert Watkins, an attorney representing Gilmore, 49, and her mother Zella Jackson Price, 76, received the full court file on Thursday and posted it to the Internet on Friday along with a podcast by Watkins attacking the veracity of the birth certificate and other documents in the file. Watkins said Jackson Price's signature on the birth certificate and Gilmore's signature consenting to her adoption to her foster parent at age 18 were forged.

He swept aside concerns about discrepancies between the records and Jackson Price's story.

"Any supposition that Ms. Price is being anything other (than) candid, truthful and transparent about the theft of her baby is nothing short of patently absurd," Watkins said in a news release.

The pair gained international attention in February for their reunion after nearly 50 years apart. Gilmore said she had been told by her foster parents her birth mother was dead. And Jackson Price said she was told by hospital staff her daughter died hours after being born prematurely.

The case has led dozens of other people to doubt whether babies died at the hospital as they were told. Watkins has alleged a baby stealing ring out of Homer G. Phillips, noting women who have come forward cannot find birth and death certificates for their children. The hospital closed suddenly in 1979, and records were partially preserved in a storage facility in Brentwood, but have yet to be retrieved for those who have made requests to access them.

At issue in the papers released Thursday are facts listed on Gilmore's original birth certificate and court papers that don't mesh with Jackson Price's account of what happened after her daughter was born in 1965. …

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