Following the death of her fianc?, Margot Weston (Barbara Stanwyck) is left pregnant and unmarried. A former doctor Jim Howard (Herbert Marshall) helps the desperate Margot. When her son is born, Jim helps her find a home for the baby with Phil Marshall (Ian Hunter) and his wife. Margot insists that neither the Marshalls nor the child can ever know that she is his mother.
Five years later, Margot meets Jim Howard again, and the two begin to fall in love. When Margot is sent to Europe on a business trip, she meets and is wooed by the charming but carefree Count Giovanni Corini (Cesar Romero). While in Paris, she happens to meet her son Roddy (Johnnie Russell), who is traveling with his aunt, who has been taking care of the boy since his adoptive mother died.
On the trip back to America, Margot and Roddy become close. Count Corini is also on the same ship, and he continues to pursue Margot. Back home, Margot becomes convinced that Jessica (Lynn Bari), Phil Marshall's new fiancee, doesn't love him, and would be a bad mother to Roddy. Margot decides to break up the engagement, though Jim, beginning a career as a scientist, reminds her of her earlier promise not to interfere in the boy's life.
Phil overhears a conversation between Margot and Jessica which brings their engagement to an end. Meanwhile Jim and Margot become engaged, but then Phil asks Margot to marry him for his and Roddy's sake. Though she admits she loves Jim, he steps aside so that she can have a life with Roddy and Phil.