I am so happy that you finally addressed all those people who write in every time a celebrity adopts a child, claiming they receive preferential treatment. I am not a celebrity and we are not wealthy, yet my husband and I adopted our child pretty quickly through a combination of luck, research and using adoption counselors. I certainly understand that there is a lot of frustration out there when people desperately want a child. But what I don't understand is begrudging people simply because of their star status.
Barbara J. Nudo, Bloomingdale, Ill.
Celebrities don't get preferential treatment when adopting children? Give me a break! Take a look at how many single women who are not famous get to adopt children. I think you will see that they are very few and far between. If Rosie or Calista weren't famous, there is no way they would be granted adoptions. Money and celebrity talk.
Kathy Perea, Scottsdale, Ariz.
What bothers me about single individuals—celebrities or not—adopting children is that most young single women who place their babies for adoption do so in the hope that the child will be raised in a stable household with a mother and a father. Are we substituting movie stars and their money for daddies?
Caren Wagonblott, Hamburg, N.Y.
Your article was right on target. As the mother of three adopted children of a minority race and as a former adoption professional, I know firsthand that the majority of couples want to adopt only the Gerber baby. It is a sad statement that worldwide there are far more children waiting to be adopted than there are prospective parents waiting to adopt. I applaud the stars or anyone else who is willing to open their heart and adopt a child of a different race or a not-so-perfect medical background.
Kim Toothman, Cornelius, N.C.
Good for you, PEOPLE, for clearing up the myth that for celebrities who want them, adopted children virtually grow on trees.
Amanda Uhry, New York City
I'm from Seattle, where I suppose your demographics list us as tree-hugging, whale-saving, latte-sipping computer geeks. Some or all of that may be true, but shame on PEOPLE for not sharing the Dale Earnhardt cover with all of the United States. To decide that only those in the southeast would appreciate Dale, while assuming that the rest of us would prefer to know about celebrity adoptions, is so far out of whack it's pathetic! Dale Earnhardt was a true American hero to all of us.
Denise Furneaux, Kirkland, Wash.
My husband and I took every opportunity to see Dale Earnhardt compete—and compete he did. Once I heard an announcer say that the worst place on the racetrack for a driver was between Dale and the finish line. If we had to lose him, what better place—racing his heart out.
Diana and David Gray, Houston
You called Dale Earnhardt the Michael Jordan of NASCAR. I beg to differ. Michael Jordan was the Dale Earnhardt of basketball.
Megan E. Booth, Dothan, Ala.
Martin Sheen has a lot of nerve calling President Bush a moron. I guess he hasn't checked out his own family lately. Charlie isn't exactly a Rhodes Scholar.
Donald J. McCaffrey, Attleboro, Mass.
How sad that at the tender age of nine Fredrika Near-Keefer is led to believe she cannot pursue her dream because she doesn't have the right body type. It's bad enough that our society casts unrealistic body-type ideals on women, but it is wrong to cast them on a child who just wants to do what she loves.
Shari L. Hurny, East Rochester, N.Y.
I could barely finish reading your article about 9-year-old Fredrika Near-Keefer. This mother is teaching her daughter that if you don't get what you want in life, sue. Krissy Keefer sounds like an annoying stage mom living her dreams through her daughter.
Kim Hernandez, San Jose, Calif
When I was 11, I auditioned for the San Francisco Ballet School's summer session. They told me I needed to lose 10 lbs. Instead I lost between 15 and 20 through different crash diets. All of this for nothing, since the school ended up being a big disappointment to me, and I didn't go back after that summer. The school needs to spend less time focusing on body image and more on the applicant's ability to dance.
Kirsten Badgley, San Diego
Like it or not, ballet is an art form that requires, among other things, a certain physique. Mrs. Keefer's efforts would be better served by teaching her child how to handle life's disappointments.
Victoria Powell, Acton, Mass.