HACKENSACK, N.J. — Surrogate mother Mary Beth Whitehead will not be allowed to visit her baby daughter while she appeals a judge's decision awarding custody to the biological father, an appellate panel ruled Friday.
The three-judge panel of the Appellate Division of Superior Court said it was not in the best interest of the child, known in court as Baby M, to be exposed to Whitehead at this time. It also said that in the event the lower court ruling eventually is overturned, the child would not be harmed by the missed visitations.
The decision of the judges denied a request made by Whitehead's attorney for a stay of Superior Court Judge Harvey R. Sorkow's ruling Tuesday that denied her any legal connection with the child.
Whitehead's attorney, Harold J. Cassidy, said he would seek a stay from the New Jersey Supreme Court. He also will ask the court to hear a direct appeal of the case.