Tort Law

Wrongful birth suit claims sperm bank erred by shipping vials from black donor

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A white Ohio woman has filed a wrongful birth suit alleging an Illinois sperm bank mistakenly shipped sperm from an African-American donor.

The suit (PDF) filed Tuesday on behalf of Jennifer Cramblett of Uniontown, Ohio, says she and her domestic partner, Amanda Zinkon, ordered sperm from donor No. 380, who is white, but Midwest Sperm Bank shipped sperm from donor No. 330, who is African-American, the Chicago Tribune reports. Cramblett didn’t learn of the mixup until after she was pregnant and the couple decided to order more sperm for a second child.

“All of the thought, care and planning that she and Amanda had undertaken to control their baby’s parentage had been rendered meaningless,” the suit says. “In an instant, Jennifer’s excitement and anticipation of her pregnancy was replaced with anger, disappointment and fear.”

The sperm bank later sent a letter apologizing for the mixup that included a refund check for the incorrect sperm. The problem stemmed from handwritten records in which the number 380 looked like 330, according to the complaint.

The suit says Jennifer gave birth to a “beautiful, obviously mixed race, baby girl” in August 2012. Though the couple loves the child, Jennifer has “limited cultural competency related to African-Americans,” she regards her town as racially intolerant, and her all-white family is “often unconsciously insensitive,” the complaint says.

The suit claims wrongful birth and breach of warranty. A lawyer for Midwest Sperm Bank told the Chicago Tribune the company could not comment on pending litigation.

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