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Suit seeks to restore parental rights in lost baby case

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ST. LOUIS (AP) – Fifty years after a St. Louis gospel singer says she was told her daughter died at birth, and months after the 76-year-old woman learned that her daughter was still alive, a judge is being asked to restore the birth mother’s parental rights.

Attorney Albert Watkins announced the petition Tuesday in which Melanie Diane Gilmore seeks to invalidate her 1983 adoption and re-establish Zella Jackson Price as her legal mother.

The action would allow Gilmore to be an heir and give Watkins access to more information about the 1965 birth.

Price’s story initially raised concerns that a baby theft ring operated at Homer G. Phillips Hospital, which served black residents until closing in 1979.

Authorities believe the baby was abandoned, not stolen. Watkins says Price stands by her story.