LARRY BIRKHEAD has been named the biological father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby daughter DANNIELYNN after a lengthy paternity case. The news was released minutes ago as a delighted Birkhead and his attorney EMERICK KNOWLES staged a press conference outside the Bahamas courthouse, where recent DNA test results were announced earlier today (10APR07). Photographer Birkhead has been battling paternity since the baby girl was born in the Bahamas last September (06). Outside court, he said, "I'm excited." Asked what he thought his ex-girlfriend, Smith, would think of the news, Birkhead told reporters, "I think she would be proud that I fought it." Birkhead's next step will be to fight for custody of the little girl he has only briefly seen in the six months since her birth. But he plans to process the good news he is Dannielynn's father first, adding, "That's all up in the air." Birkhead will return to court on Friday (16APR07) for what is believed to be the start of his custody battle. Anna Nicole's longtime companion, HOWARD K. STERN, who is listed as the baby's father on her birth certificate, has been acting as her guardian since Smith's death in February (07). Sources close to Stern claimed last week (06APR07) that he wouldn't challenge Birkhead over custody if the photographer was named the baby's biological father. Stern confirmed this when he joined Birkhead on the steps of the Bahamas courthouse. He said, "My feelings for Dannielynn have not changed. I'm not going to fight Larry Birkhead on custody. We're going to do what we can to make sure that the best interests of Dannielynn are carried out, and I'm going to do whatever I can too make sure he gets full custody. "As far as I'm concerned, Larry can come over (to) the house and spend as much time with her as he likes right now. I'd like there to be a gradual transition period for her so there's no harm caused to her." Anna Nicole's estranged mother, VIRGIE ARTHUR, is expected to challenge Birkhead for custody of the baby.