Birkhead arriving in the United States with his daughter
05/01/2007 at 03:20 PM EDT
Larry Birkhead and Dannielynn, his daughter with Anna Nicole Smith, quietly left the Bahamas aboard a chartered plane on Tuesday, according to Access Hollywood
, which had a film crew aboard.
Birkhead, 34, and the 7-month-old infant landed briefly in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., before continuing on to Louisville, Ky., where Birkhead's family lives, in what Access Hollywood
describes as "an emotional, tear-filled ride."
Father and daughter arrived in Kentucky at 1:20 p.m., with Birkhead carrying Dannielynn in a blanket to shield her from paparazzi that surrounded them at the airport and followed them to a home in eastern Louisville.
Birkhead plans to say there for a few weeks, a source tells PEOPLE. Dannielynn was able to meet some family members Tuesday afternoon and will meet more over the next few days, the source says.
Last week, a Bahamian judge ruled in favor
of allowing Birkhead, a Los Angeles-based photographer, to take Dannielynn out of the country. The decision came after a DNA test proved
Birkhead is the baby's father. Smith, 39, died Feb. 8 from an accidental drug overdose.
Along with last week's court order giving Birkhead permission to leave with the child, a new Bahamian birth certificate naming Birkhead as her father was issued, the Associated Press reports.
Removed from the document was the name of Smith's companion, Howard K. Stern, who had also claimed to be Dannielynn's father. Stern had been serving as her guardian in the oceanfront Bahamas home he shared with Smith before her death.
Reporting by HOWARD BREUER