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A white Ohio woman is suing a sperm bank claiming that the facility accidentally inseminated her with sperm from a black donor.
Jennifer Cramblett, 36, of Uniontown, claims that she and her same-sex partner, who is also white, told the Chicago-based Midwest Sperm Bank that they wanted a donor with similar genetic traits to both of them. The couple picked a white donor after reviewing his history, Reuters reports.
However, according to Cramblett's lawsuit, after she became pregnant with the couple's now-2-year-old daughter, she discovered that the clinic had mistakenly given her the wrong donor's sperm.
Wrongful Birth, Breach of Warranty Alleged
In a lawsuit filed this week in Illinois, Cramblett is seeking damages against the clinic for breach of warranty and wrongful birth, a medical malpractice claim typically brought against doctors when a child is born with unexpected or undiagnosed birth defects.
In Cramblett's case, her daughter Payton was born healthy, but Cramblett claims that her biracial daughter is already experiencing racism in predominantly white Uniontown. Among the hardships faced by Cramblett in raising her daughter, according to her lawsuit, is having to travel to black neighborhoods "where she is obviously different in appearance and not overtly welcome" in order to obtain proper hair care for her daughter.
Clinic Apologizes, Refunds Money
The clinic's oversight was discovered after Cramblett's partner ordered more vials of the donor's sperm in order to get pregnant with a sibling for the couple's daughter, reports NBC News. During a conversation with the sperm bank, Cramblett learned that the clinic had misread the handwritten number on her Cramblett's original order and sent the wrong sperm to the couple's fertility clinic. After discovering the mix-up, Cramblett's lawyer claims the sperm bank cut off contact with his client and sent her an apology along with a partial refund for the sperm she had purchased.
Although not every state allows wrongful birth lawsuits, in those that do, parents have been able to win large damage awards. In 2011, a Florida couple was awarded $4.5 million after their son was born without arms and only one leg. Cramblett told NBC News that she hopes to use any money awarded in her lawsuit to move to a more diverse area.