Civil Rights: Color and Custody

After suffering severe brain damage in an auto accident eight years ago, Clara Jean Damaschke, a Michigan housewife, was committed to a mental hospital. Later, her husband Frank got a divorce and remarried. Four months after the divorce, Clara Jean gave birth to a son, whose father was probably a Negro. The man's identity was never determined, and Frank Damaschke took the boy home to live with him.

He and his new wife were delighted. Together they had six daughters and one son from their previous marriages. Young Scott, who is bright and alert, quickly took his place as the...