“Claiming Noah” by Amanda Ortlepp

Publication Date:  July 5, 2016

Publisher:  FaithWords

A couple begins an In Vitro Fertilization (IVF ) program.  After three miscarriages the wife has a successful pregnancy and gives birth to a beautiful baby boy.  The parents are ecstatic.   They decide to donate their last unused embryo.   Another couple is on a waiting list to receive an embryo.  They are overjoyed when they receive the first couple’s donation and are able to adopt the embryo.  This mother also gives birth to a beautiful baby boy.

Now what can go wrong with this scenario?  The book touches on so many themes that it hurts the story, which is supposed to be about a court custody case questioning who the real parents are, the biological or the legal ones?  We read about; religious restrictions, class differences, unhappy marriages, new romances, a child kidnapping as well as a fascinating and extremely disturbing postpartum mood disorder that can turn into a psychosis. (I do not suggest reading this book if you are expecting but if you must the author makes it clear that this is not the usual “baby blues” that most new moms can experience.)

I felt the book would have read better if it focused solely on the controversial child custody battle about the two biological brothers.  In that matter this tale isn’t all that different from the book “Losing Isaiah” by Seth Margolis, in other words, a real tear jerker.  Your heart will break for both mothers as they both feel in their hearts’ that they are the “real” mom.