Baby M

(redirected from Mary Beth Whitehead)
A female infant born in mid-1980s in New Jersey by a surrogate mother contract; at the time of birth, the gestational/natural mother reneged on the contract, and the ensuing court battle became a cause célèbre on the issue of surrogate parenthood
References in periodicals archive ?
But that changed after the Baby M case in 1986, in which the surrogate, Mary Beth Whitehead, refused to give the baby to the biological father and his wife.
The courts of New Jersey found that Mary Beth Whitehead was the child's legal mother and declared contracts for surrogate motherhood illegal and invalid.
The Baby M case, in which surrogate mother Mary Beth Whitehead tried to renege on her contract and keep the baby she was carrying for a New Jersey couple, was a tabloid sensation in the mid 1980s.
Mary Beth Whitehead, 40, was forced to give up her daughter in the Baby M tug-of-love case that gripped America a decade ago.
In that dispute, you will remember, many intelligent people persuaded themselves that the baby's rightful mother was a woman who had no biological connection to it, and that its real mother, Mary Beth Whitehead, was a grasping madwoman because she did not think she was, as child psychologist Lee Salk put it, a "surrogate uterus.
Thus, Mary Beth Whitehead won back her parental rights because the New Jersey Supreme Court acknowledged her genetic contribution: Baby M was half hers.
In what way was Mary Beth Whitehead a surrogate mother?
Was it fair that the Sterns could summon witnesses to analyze Melissa's patty-cake technique, while Mary Beth Whitehead could not respond with a salvo of her own, save for the few witnesses who helped her gratis.
Everything a woman does to produce her own child Mary Beth Whitehead did, including giving it half the genetic inheritance regarded by the judge as so decisive an argument on behalf of William Stern.
Physically, as Mary Beth Whitehead pointed out, it involves merely artificial insemination, a centuries-old technique which requires a device no more complicated than a turkey baster.
The father, William Stern, had contracted with the mother, Mary Beth Whitehead, to bear him a child through artificial insemination.
Mary Beth Whitehead is not and was not a "surrogate mother"; she is Baby M's natural mother.