Deborah asked:

I don't understand why the university had so much say in what happened to Fern, and why her parents had so little influence... Obviously it works perfectly for the drama of the story, but a) I don't understand it, and b) I don't like it!

Sarah Ozcandarli Fern was the property of the university. She was placed in a human family as an experiment, and when that experiment was over, Fern was like a test tube or a bunsen burner, or any piece of laboratory equipment, except that not many laboratories wanted her. It was horribly unfair.
Judy Fowler I don't like it either but Universities are (now) part of the commercial world and it fitted for me (sadly) and made the story more poignant?
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by Karen Joy Fowler (Goodreads Author)
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