The Chicago Tribune reports that Jennifer Cramblett’s suit was filed against Midwest Sperm Bank in 2014 in light of her being artificially inseminated with sperm from the wrong donor. As a result, Cramblett gave birth to her mixed-race daughter Payton.
The suit centers on claims from Cramblett that she was unprepared to raise an African American child, in addition to her feeling that her predominantly white community and her “unconsciously insensitive” family members might not be accepting of a child of a different race.
“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 said. “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.”
Providing background on the situation, the suit mentioned that Cramblett and her partner Amanda Zinkon chose sperm from donor No. 380, a white man. Instead of the white man’s sperm, the couple was given sperm from donor No. 330, a black man. Cramblett and Zinkon put the blame for the mistake on a paper records system that allegedly caused an employee to misread the numbers
Although the sperm bank apologized and refunded part of the cost to Cramblett and Zinkon, the suit alleged that the sperm bank’s error has caused stress, pain, suffering and medical expenses for Cramblett and her family. The suit adds that the situation has resulted in Cramblett fearing that Payton, now 3, would grow up feeling like an “outcast” in Cramblett’s predominantly white community.
Despite Cramblett’s claims, the Tribune notes that DuPage County judge Ronald Sutter ultimately threw out the lawsuit Thursday (Sept. 3) as he shared the same view as the sperm bank’s attorney, who argued that the suit lacked legal merit as well as the fact that that “wrongful birth” suits typically pertain to cases where the child is born with a birth defect that doctors should have warned parents about. In Cramblett’s case, the child was healthy.
While he rejected the suit as a whole and Cramblett request for damages for a “breach of warranty,” Sutter stated that Cramblett could refile her lawsuit as a “negligence claim,” according to the Tribune.