Raising Someone Else’s Baby

A chance viewing of an old movie during Turner Classic Movie’s celebration of Oscar’s Month shed a little light on the mystery regarding Lone Star Dietz’s birth. According to her testimony at Dietz’s trial, the woman who raised him stated that her baby was born dead and that her husband disposed of the body and replaced it with a live baby a few days later. She raised the baby, Lone Star Dietz, as her own. Many people today consider her testimony as far-fetched and unbelievable. The movie, To Each His Own, deals with this very issue.

Corinne Piersen, played by Mary Anderson, was despondent over losing her baby, not wanting to live when Olivia de Havilland’s character’s seemingly abandoned baby was brought to her. Instantly, she was better, wanting to live and raise the baby as her own. While we men cannot fully appreciate what it must be like for a woman to carry a baby for nine months and die immediately after birth or be stillborn, we do have some sense of how terrible it must be and how depressed a woman might get over such a tragic loss. Few would deny that a woman who just lost her baby, her first and only baby, would be despondent, but many would not accept that the woman would be able to shift her love quickly to a baby about whom she knew nothing.

To Each His Own makes it believable that a grieving mother could do just that. It makes it more plausible that flaxen-haired Leanna Ginder Dietz would accept Lone Star, with his coal-black mop of hair even as a baby, as her own to raise even though he did not resemble her. Perhaps someone will provide a woman’s perspective on this.

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