February 5, 1987 |
A distraught surrogate mother, facing loss of the baby she agreed to bear for $10,000, threatened to kill herself and the child rather than give her up, according to a tape recording played in court Wednesday. The cries of the infant, known in court as Baby M, were in the background as Mary Beth Whitehead pleaded for forgiveness for changing her mind about the contract, under which she agreed to be artificially inseminated with William Stern's sperm and bear his child.
February 11, 1987 |
Four weeks into a trial its principals say they never wanted in the first place, the complicated question of custody of a child conceived by artificial insemination is focusing sharply on the emotional stability of the three people vying to be her parents. Now a chubby 11-month-old with sandy hair and cheerful blue eyes, the infant is called Melissa by biochemist William Stern and his pediatrician wife Dr. Elizabeth Stern. They are the Tenafly, N.J.
April 11, 1987 |
The New Jersey Supreme Court on Friday reinstated surrogate mother Mary Beth Whitehead's right to visit the daughter she bore under a $10,000 contract. The 6-1 ruling was issued 10 days after a lower court judge took away the 30-year-old homemaker's parental rights and granted custody of the year-old girl to William Stern, the biological father. The Supreme Court refused to stay Superior Court Judge Harvey R.
May 21, 1988 |
"Baby M" is never anything less than excellent. ABC's two-part drama (9-11 p.m. Sunday and Monday on Channels 7, 3, 10 and 42) is a big, agonizing wallop of a story, reliving with stirring, wrenching intensity the historic, headlined custody battle between surrogate mother Mary Beth Whitehead and William and Elizabeth Stern.
February 12, 1987 |
The courtroom is tiny, with just 14 of the 56 seats set aside for spectators at a trial that has sparked interest around the world. So the line here at Bergen County Superior Court begins forming early, usually by about 6:30 a.m., for the chance to sit in on the precedent-setting case of a surrogate mother who reneged on her contract to give up the baby she bore for a couple who could not have children of their own.
April 1, 1987 |
A state judge awarded full custody of Baby M to her father Tuesday, stripping the surrogate mother of all legal parental rights in the emotional landmark custody case. Ruling that the surrogacy contract was "valid and enforceable," Superior Court Judge Harvey R. Sorkow arranged for the father's wife immediately to adopt the healthy, blue-eyed, 1-year-old infant in his chambers.