How Are They Now?: "Baby M"

"Baby M"
Find out what happened to "Baby M" and Mary Beth Whitehead

Mary Beth Whitehead gave birth to "Baby M" in 1986 after signing a contract with William and Elizabeth Stern. She had agreed to act as a surrogate mother for the couple in exchange for $10,000, and was artificially inseminated with Mr. Stern's sperm.

After the delivery, Mary Beth refused to hand over the child to the Sterns, and fled to Florida for 87 days before being caught by authorities. The courts awarded custody of Baby M to the Sterns.

At the time of Baby M's birth, Mary Beth was married with two children. She explains, "When she was born, she looked like [my daughter] Tuesday. I agreed to give the Sterns their baby. I did not agree to give the Sterns my baby. When she came out, she was part of me."

She recalls that when she brought Baby M home, her daughter Tuesday, who was 10 at the time, looked inside the crib and said, "Mom, you can't give away that baby. She's my sister."

Tuesday recalls, "I was devastated when we lost Baby M. [The surrogacy] was a family decision. We went into it wanting to help another family. I want people to know we're a normal family ... We experienced a tragedy years ago." She goes on to explain that the strain of the court case contributed to her parents' divorce. "My father was never the same afterwards," she says. Her father passed away last year from cancer.

Mary Beth, who remarried and had another two children with her second husband, says, "I wouldn't do this again and would never recommend it ... I've learned along the way that there are some things in life you just don't give away."

When asked about her relationship with Baby M today, Mary Beth explains, "It isn't good. I won't go into details. She's 16 and I think she's very confused ... and [the Sterns] have made it very difficult."

Now 16, Baby M was recently a bridesmaid in Tuesday's wedding.

"Do you have a relationship with her?" Dr. Phil asks Tuesday.

"Somewhat. Speaking on the phone ... and when she does come to visit. Whenever I've tried to reach out, they [the Sterns] have made it difficult for us to have the relationship we want to have."

"Stop beating yourself up over this," says Dr. Phil. "You know in your minds and hearts that all of the things that were put out there to demonize you are untrue. The only perception you can control is the one you have about yourself. You can be mad at yourself for doing something you wouldn't do today, but Maya Angelou said it better than I can. She said, 'You did what you knew how to do. And when you knew better, you did better.' You know better now, and you might be saving people from making the same mistake."