A white mother in Ohio is suing a sperm bank for accidentally giving her African-American sperm, which led to her having an African-American baby.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Jennifer Cramblett filed a lawsuit in Illinois’ Cook County Circuit Court alleging that Midwest Sperm Bank gave her, a white woman, the wrong sperm, mistaking a black donor for a white donor. She and her white girlfriend, Amanda Zinkon, had requested Caucasian sperm. Cramblett says she discovered the mistake when she and her partner requested another few vials of same donor sperm to have another child.
Now Cramblett is suing the Sperm Bank for “wrongful birth and breach of warranty, citing the emotional and economic losses she has suffered.” She says the mix-up happened because Midwest keeps handwritten instead of electronic patient notes and information can be misread. From the lawsuit:
"On August 21, 2012, Jennifer gave birth to Payton, a beautiful, obviously mixed-race baby girl," the lawsuit states. "Jennifer bonded with Payton easily and she and Amanda love her very much. Even so, Jennifer lives each day with fears, anxieties and uncertainty about her future and Payton's future."
Raising a mixed-race daughter has been stressful in Cramblett and Zinkon's small, all-white community, according to the suit. Cramblett was raised around people with stereotypical attitudes about nonwhites, the lawsuit states, and did not know African-Americans until she attended college at the University of Akron.
Cramblett goes on to say that she doesn’t know much about black people and it’s a lot to learn; in addition, her small Ohio home of Uniontown is “too racially intolerant.” For example, she says no one wants to cut her now two-year-old daughter’s hair and the child is “not overtly welcome” in her community. Also, Cramblett’s family isn’t so hot about her homosexuality, so having a black kid … you get the idea.
Cramblett’s therapist told her what most people would: Move. She should relocate to a town where her blended family is more comfortable, with good, nurturing schools boasting kids of color like Payton.
Let’s be honest, if any one of us gave birth to a child that wasn’t the color we expected, it’d be a shock. But in Cramblett’s case, Payton is here and she didn’t ask to be. The child is Caucasian and black and now Cramblett’s sole job to raise and protect that little girl, to teach her that racism and homophobia is wrong, even when it comes from grandma and grandpa. Cramblett’s nervous about how Payton will mature in her care, but isn’t that every parent’s worry? The biggest teary admission among new parents, even if it's just to themselves, has to be ‘I have no idea what I’m doing.’ So her apprehension there isn’t that original.
But if Cramblett herself can't adjust to her daughter's mixed race, that’s the real concern — not to mention, suing the place that gave her to you isn't the best jumping off point. But her other issues have solutions. Towns like Berkeley, California or New York City have large populations of kids that look like Payton. Hell, Mayor de Blasio's kids look like Payton. As for combing and cutting the baby’s hair, there are blogs for that. Regarding the rest of her concerns, welcome to life with a black person Cramblett, it might take some getting used to. But if you love Payton and work to understand her ethnicity, that's really all that matters.