White Mom Sues Sperm Bank For Giving Her Vials From Black Donor

October 1, 2014  |  

An Ohio mom is suing Illinois’ Midwest Sperm Bank for wrongful birth and breach of warranty after she claims they accidentally provided her with vials from an African-American donor, The Age World reports. In her suit, which was filed in the Cook County Circuit Court, Jennifer Cramblett says that this error has made it difficult for she and her same-sex partner, Amanda Zinkon, to raise their now 2-year-old daughter in a predominately White community. Cramblett says that she learned of the sperm bank’s mistake in 2012, after she was already pregnant, when she tried to order another set of vials from the same donor so that they could have another child.

“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.”

Cramblett goes on to say that raising little Payton has been rather stressful because she was raised around people with stereotypical attitudes towards people of color, adding that she did not know African-Americans until she went off to college at the University of Akron.

“Because of this background and upbringing, Jennifer acknowledges her limited cultural competency relative to African-Americans and steep learning curve, particularly in small, homogenous Uniontown, which she regards as too racially intolerant,” the lawsuit states.

Cramblett goes on to say that she’s forced to travel to a Black neighborhood, “where she is obviously different in appearance, and not overtly welcome,” to get her daughter’s hair styled. She adds that she worries that her “all-White and unconsciously insensitive family” will have a negative effect on Payton.

“Though compelled to repress her individuality amongst family members, Payton’s differences are irrepressible, and Jennifer does not want Payton to feel stigmatised or unrecognised due simply to the circumstances of her birth,” the lawsuit states. “Jennifer’s stress and anxiety intensify when she envisions Payton entering an all-White school.”

According to the lawsuit, the error occurred because staff members keep handwritten records instead of electronic records. She claims that the Illinois bank sent her a typed letter of apology and a refund check for the six vials containing the incorrect sperm. The Midwest Sperm Bank declined to comment on her lawsuit.

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