White Ohio woman Jennifer Cramblett sues clinic after being given black donor’s sperm by mistake
Mix-up ... the woman claims the sperm clinic sent her a letter of apology and a refund cheque. Picture: Thinkstock Source: Supplied

A WHITE woman in Ohio is suing a sperm bank, alleging the firm mistakenly gave her vials from a black donor.

She says it has made it difficult for her and her same-sex partner to raise their now two-year-old daughter in an all-white community.

Jennifer Cramblett from Ohio alleges in the lawsuit filed on Monday in Cook County Circuit Court that Midwest Sperm Bank, based in Illinois, sent her the vials of an African-American donor’s sperm in 2011 instead of those of a white donor she and her white partner had ordered.

After searching through pages of comprehensive histories for their top three donors, the lawsuit claims, Cramblett and her partner, Amanda Zinkon, chose donor No. 380, who was also white. Their doctor in Ohio received vials from donor No. 330, who is African-American, the lawsuit said.

Jennifer Cramblett with her daughter, Payton. (Source: Family)

Jennifer Cramblett with her daughter, Payton. (Source: Family)

Cramblett, 36, learned of the mistake in April 2012, when she was pregnant and ordering more vials so that the couple could have another child with sperm from the same donor.

Cramblett is suing Midwest Sperm Bank for wrongful birth and breach of warranty, citing the emotional and economic losses she has suffered.

A lawyer for Midwest Sperm Bank said the company would not comment on pending litigation.

“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 non-whites, the lawsuit states, and did not know African-Americans until she attended 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.

Complex issues ... the mother also claims that her family is racially intolerant and homo

Complex issues ... the mother also claims that her family is racially intolerant and homophobic. Source: ThinkStock

Part of that learning curve has included getting her daughter’s hair cut, which according to the suit requires Cramblett to travel to a black neighbourhood, “where she is obviously different in appearance, and not overtly welcome.” She fears that her “all-white and unconsciously insensitive family,” who has never been able to fully embrace Jennifer’s homosexuality, could have a negative effect on her daughter, according to the lawsuit.

“Jennifer’s stress and anxiety intensify when she envisions Payton entering an all-white school.” The lawsuit alleges that the error occurred because the sperm bank keeps handwritten instead of electronic records, which allowed the donor numbers to be misread.

A month after Cramblett said she learned of the mistake, according to the lawsuit, the sperm bank sent her a typed letter of apology along with a refund cheque for the six vials of incorrect sperm that were sent to her in September 2011.

 
 
 
 
By Jamie Rivera 10/01/2014 09:01:00

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