"In The Best Interest Of The Children" is a true-story movie based on the Paula Mick-Karen Cooper custody case. The movie aired on NBC as a Sunday night movie. It was advertised as a "fact-based" based drama. It stars Sarah Jessica Parker and Sally Struthers. In the film, the real names were changed to Callie Cain and Patty Pepper.
"In The Best Interest Of The Children" synopsis/plot:
The movie, which begins with the message "based on a true story," follows the case of a young mother (Callie Cain) struggling with mental illness and raising her children. When Callie is approached by social services, she is reluctant to undergo testing but does so for the benefit of her children, who are being care for by a so-called loving couple. As Callie suspected, her children are snatched away from her and placed in the custody of the Pepper family. The movie chronicles this young mother's fight to get her children back. The important questions are: how many children are considered "too many?" and should a mother give up her right to custody while fighting mental illness?
The true story is based on the case involving Iowa residents Paula Mick and Karen Cooper. Cooper lost custody of her children in 1987, after social services deduced that the she suffered from biopolar disorder and was unable to care for them, according to People's Magazine. The children were then placed in a foster home owned by Paula Mick and her husband. The Micks eventually lost custody. The children were eventually placed in the home of a family member of Karen Cooper.
You can read Traciy Curry-Reyes' notes on the Mick-Cooper case@In the Best Interest of the Children. (Blogspot)