Surrogate motherhood has raised complex ethical and legal issues, and lawsuits over custody after the child's birth have resulted from both types of surrogacy. In the highly publicized Baby M case (1986–88), Mary Beth Whitehead, the surrogate (and biological) mother, sued William and Elizabeth Stern, the baby's father and his wife, for custody of the child. Although the surrogate mother was not awarded custody in the Baby M case, she was granted visitation rights. Several European countries and a number of states have passed laws banning paid surrogacy.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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