According to the Washington Post, Jennifer Cramblett filed suit against Midwest Sperm Bank in 2014 when her mixed-race daughter Payton was 2-years-old, saying the clerical error had caused her and her partner, Amanda Zinkon, “stress, pain, suffering and medical expenses.”
Stating that she loves her daughter, Cramblett asserted in her suit that her daughter would grow up feeling like an “outcast,” and that she and her partner have “limited cultural competency” around African-Americans.
“Getting a young daughter’s hair cut is not particularly stressful for most mothers, but to Jennifer it is not a routine matter, because Payton has hair typical of an African American girl,” the lawsuit reads. “To get a decent cut, Jennifer must travel to a black neighborhood, far from where she lives, where she is obviously different in appearance, and not overtly welcome.”
“Jennifer’s stress and anxiety intensify when she envisions Payton entering an all-white school,” the lawsuit continued. “Ironically, Jennifer and Amanda moved to Uniontown from racially diverse Akron, because the schools were better and to be closer to family.”
Cramblett also asserted that her own “unconsciously insensitive” family members might have trouble accepting her daughter, now 3-years-old.
DuPage County judge Ronald Sutter threw out couple’s lawsuit, agreeing with attorneys for the sperm bank who argued that “breach of warranty” and “wrongful birth” claims lacked legal merit in the case. The judge advised that the couple could refile under a negligence claim.
According to the sperm bank, which maintains handwritten records, the couple were supposed to receive sperm from donor No. 380, a white man; instead, they were given sperm from donor No. 330, a black man. The sperm bank apologized in a letter stating “we are so very sorry,” and issued the couple a partial refund.
The original lawsuit asked for at least $50,000 in damages.