March 27, 1986. Mary Beth Whitehead is in labor. She’s giving birth to a baby girl today, and her husband Richard is by her side. But the Whiteheads are not, contractually-speaking, this child’s parents. Surrogacy is a brand new advancement, and another couple, William and Elizabeth Stern, are contractually owed a baby. When the little girl is born, Mary Beth has a change of heart and runs. This begins a two-year legal battle that launches the complicated question of surrogacy onto the national stage. Who is Baby M’s mother? And how did this case change our understanding of parenthood forever?   

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