About the Baby M Case

On May 5, 1986, William and Elizabeth Stern filed a verified complaint and order to show cause in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division Family Part, that began what would become known as the Baby M case. The events surrounding the trial and the parties involved captured the attention of people around the globe and initiated a series of legal battles that occupied the front pages of newspapers and journals for years. In re Baby M., 217 N.J. Super. 313, 525 A.2d 1128 (Ch. Div. 1987); cert. granted In re Baby M., 107 N.J. 140, 526 A.2d 203 (1987); aff'd in part and rev'd in part, In re Baby M., 109 N.J. 396, 537 A.2d 1227 (1988); on remand, In re Baby M., 225 N.J. Super. 267, 542 A.2d 52, (Ch.Div. 1988).

This collection presents a unique view of the events based on materials donated by Judge Harvey R. Sorkow (Rutgers Law School Class of 1953) who presided over the trial and by Lorraine Abraham (Rutgers Law School Class of 1974), who Judge Sorkow appointed as Baby M.'s guardian ad litem. The collection includes notes made by the judge, letters from the public sent to the court, drafts of opinions, pleadings, correspondence to and from the guardian, and similar documents.

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