Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status

In the Matter of Baby M

537 A.2d 1227 (1988)

Case BriefRelatedOptions
From our private database of 34,000+ case briefs...

In the Matter of Baby M

Supreme Court of New Jersey

537 A.2d 1227 (1988)

Play video

Facts

William Sterns (plaintiff) and his wife, Elizabeth, could not have children. The Sternses contacted the Infertility Center of New York (ICNY) to discuss surrogacy. The Sternses and Mary Whitehead (defendant) agreed that Whitehead would be artificially inseminated by Sterns and carry the child. After birth, Whitehead would surrender the child and her parental rights to the Sternses. In exchange, Sterns would pay $10,000 to Whitehead and $7,500 to the ICNY. Sterns and Whitehead signed a surrogacy contract outlining these terms. The ICNY conducted a psychological examination of Whitehead to determine her fitness for surrogacy and noticed some potential issues that could make it difficult for Whitehead to surrender a child. The ICNY did not share these concerns with Sterns or Whitehead. Additionally, Whitehead did not consult legal counsel outside of a conversation with an ICNY lawyer. Finally, Whitehead made no inquiries as to the Sternses’ fitness for parenting. Whitehead became pregnant. Once the child was born, however, Whitehead experienced emotional difficulty surrendering her to the Sternses. Whitehead fled with the child to another state, and the Sternses called the police to forcibly remove the child from Whitehead’s home. Due to these difficulties, Sterns sued Whitehead in New Jersey state court, seeking enforcement of the surrogacy contract. The trial court upheld the contract and awarded full custody to Stern, with the option for Elizabeth Stern to adopt. Whitehead was granted limited visitation rights. Whitehead appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wilentz, C.J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 607,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 607,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 34,000 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 607,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 34,000 briefs - keyed to 984 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership