Woman Sues Sperm Bank Over Biracial Baby

A woman filed suit against a sperm bank after receiving a sample from a black donor.

Example:   [Collected via Twitter, October 2014]

NOT THE ONION: White mother sues sperm bank after she gave birth to mixed-race baby.


Origins:   On 29 September 2014, Ohio woman Jennifer Cramblett filed an unusual lawsuit in Cook County, Illinois. Cramblett is suing the Downers Grove-based Midwest Sperm Bank over a mix-up in vial numbering that led to the birth of her mixed-race daughter Payton in 2012.

Cramblett and her partner Amanda Zinkon are both white and selected anonymous donor number 380. While that donor was white, donor 330 was black. Cramblett and Zinkon received sperm from donor 330 but only learned of the inadvertent substitution when Cramblett was pregnant and sought to order more vials of sperm from the same donor.

A suit filed on 29 September in Illinois against Midwest Sperm Bank alleges wrongful birth and breach of warranty and illustrates economic and social damages allegedly suffered by Cramblett in the unexpected circumstance of raising a mixed race child. Portions of the lawsuit state:

On August 21, 2012, Jennifer gave birth to Payton, a beautiful, obviously mixed-race baby girl. 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.

… Because of [the couple’s] 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.


Additionally, the suit claims Payton’s unanticipated racial disparity has caused Cramblett significant anxiety about her schooling and future:

Though compelled to repress her individuality amongst family members, Payton’s differences are irrepressible, and Jennifer does not want Payton to feel stigmatized or unrecognized due simply to the circumstances of her birth … Jennifer’s stress and anxiety intensify when she envisions Payton entering an all-white school.”


Cramblett says that after she and Zinkon learned of the mix-up, the sperm bank refunded their money. The amount of damages sought by the plaintiffs in the suit was not disclosed.

Last updated:   2 October 2014