Motherhood Case Summary

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In 1993, a California case redefined the word 'motherhood ' when surrogacy was brought to court. The case involved Crispina and Mark Calvert and their hired surrogate mother, Anna Johnson. The couple hired Johnson after Mrs. Calvert lost her uterus, but not ovaries. When Johnson signed a $10,000 contract, fertilization took place using the Calverts’ egg and sperm. After the birth, Johnson argued for custody because she “had given birth to the child, and thus was entitled to share parental rights" (Mydans). Judge Richard Parslow, however, decided two parents were in the best interest of the child and stated, "A three-parent, two-natural-mom situation is ripe for crazy-making" (Mydans). The genetic parents earned custody, but Johnson battled

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