Is the Womb a Rentable Space?

An emotional court case centers on surrogate births

Mary Beth Whitehead looked pale and shaken. Minutes before, New Jersey Family Court Judge Harvey Sorkow had denied her request to regain temporary custody of her five-month-old daughter. Surrounded by reporters and cameramen in the courthouse lobby in Hackensack last week, she told them in a trembling voice, "I have three children, and two of them cannot see their sister. I don't think that's fair."

The father, William Stern, was all smiles. He happily accepted the court decision to leave the infant in his care at least until November, and promised to abide by the order to allow Whitehead to visit...

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