The Nation

A woman fighting to keep the child she bore for a couple under a $10,000 surrogate contract tearfully testified in Hackensack, N.J., that her family's problems should not stop her from winning custody of the 10-month-old baby. Mary Beth Whitehead said she wants visitation rights if she is not granted custody. She told Superior Court Judge Harvey R. Sorkow about her family's financial difficulties, her husband's battle with a drinking problem and her 12-year-old son's learning troubles. She said that when she threatened last summer to kill herself and the baby if forced to turn the infant over to William and Elizabeth Stern, who had contracted with her to bear the child, she was trying to make Stern understand that it "wasn't good for the baby for me to give her away."

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