Baby M Case Study Harvard CTB Essay

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My position on the case of Baby M Kako Kyoda

Baby M Case, was a custody case that occurred in the New Jersey Supreme Court involving the custody battle between a child's birth mother and the father who contributed his sperm for fertilization. Even though the father with his wife signed on a surrogacy agreement, however, I think the morality must be taken into consideration, because the Baby M case posed complex moral issue.

The Baby M case is very controversial, because the case should be decided based on principles, which are overweighed, as opposed to just dismissing a part of the law all together. The Baby M case is a perfect example of how a decision made by authorized officials had significantly huge impact on many individuals. Some people might argue that no legal decision that can be made lightly, due to the fact that it have the power to change someone's lives completely different. As a result of a quick decision lacking consideration of morality can greatly alter individual lives, law requires deep and heavy consideration and contemplation. In the Baby M case, the course of Mary Beth Whitehead’s life was changed significantly by only being granted visitation rights and not custody over her biological child. Baby M herself would have known another whole life all together had she not been given into the custody of the Sterns. With respect to the birth mother’s moral right to custody of Baby M, despite the binding terms of the surrogacy agreement, she should be considered as a primary guardian for child custody because basically, a mother who is biologically bonded to her child should be able to request the child as her own. We do not bring new principles when trying to decide a case, but we look back in history to seek principles to justify some rules and in the situation between a birth mother and child, the birth mother should be considered for parental custody equally. In the Baby M case, it is a complex problem to determine the validity or invalidity of the surrogacy contract because it set a first example for how to handle third party reproduction cases that would arise in the future. Buying and selling of children at that time, can be seen as a modern form of human trafficking. After eighteen years from the case, Melissa Stern who was the Baby M made the decision to legally cut off her surrogate mother, Mary Beth Whitehead’s paternal rights, as a result, Elizabeth Stern became her legal mother. Based on her decision and the custody battle, it seems like though law as is written on paper prevailed in this case. The surrogacy agreement was ultimately seen as valid and its rules were thereby adhered to, however, such a case could not have been decided without the consideration of what is moral in such a situation. The primary reason that the Baby M case presented such a challenge for court officials was because it placed the issues of rules and morality against one another when trying to determine what the law should be. This case is significant because it is a prime example of why we cannot just assume that law is always what is written in the books or on paper. Law is not simply a set of rules, but it is those set of rules with morality.

Recently, a magazine story reported a similar case on a “paralyzed bride” whose college friend offered to be her pregnancy surrogate. Rachelle Friedman’s neck had been broken at her bachelorette party when one of her bridesmaids playfully pushed her. Fast forward a few years later, and Friedman and her husband Chris Chapman anxiously await the birth of their first child via Rachelle’s college friend Laurel Humes, who has agreed to be their surrogate. If a nation needed to find the issue of surrogacy, these stories would not sufficient. Many…