A Mother's Story: The Truth about the Baby M Case

Mary Beth Whitehead, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (220p) ISBN 978-0-312-02614-1
Although Schwartz-Nobel is a prize-winning reporter and author, she seems to have served only as an ear to Whitehead's story. A surrogate mother under contract to Bill and Betsy Stern, Whitehead gave birth to the infant known as Baby M in 1986, but refused to deliver her to the Sterns, giving rise to a case that generated worldwide publicity and furious arguments. The couple was awarded full, parental custody of the baby by a New Jersey court that forbade Whitehead all contact with her child. But in 1988, the State Supreme Court granted the biological mother visiting rights with ``Sara,'' named ``Melissa'' by her adoptive parents. Thanks to strong public support, Whitehead won out over adversaries calling her unfit, to gain recognition as a woman who should be allowed the company of her child. But her intemperate attacks here on the Sterns could weaken the empathy she garnered in her hard-won battles. Her remarks about the couple rival the epithets hurled at her that ``made me feel like Hester Prin sic,'' she writes. The book, full of unblushing self-praise, adds to the growing numbers of significant warnings against producing humans for sale. 125,000 first printing; $125,000 ad/promo; first serial to Family Circle; author tour. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 978-0-517-05819-0
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