Ohio Woman Sues After Receiving Sperm from a Black Donor Instead of a White Donor

Mark Gillispie, US News, October 2, 2014

An Ohio woman has sued a Chicago-area sperm bank after she became pregnant with sperm donated by a black man instead of a white man as she and her partner had intended.

The woman is seeking damages and wants to ensure the sperm bank doesn’t make a similar mistake again.

Within days of their wedding in New York, Jennifer Cramblett and Amanda Zinkon had become pregnant with the donor sperm. In April 2012, five months into her pregnancy, Cramblett, 36, called Midwest Sperm Bank LLC outside Chicago to reserve sperm from the same donor in the hope that Zinkon, 29, would someday also have a child.

That’s when Cramblett learned from a sperm bank employee that she had been inseminated with sperm from the wrong donor, according to a lawsuit filed Monday against Midwest Sperm Bank in Cook County, Illinois.

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“How could they make a mistake that was so personal?” Cramblett said during a telephone interview on Wednesday.

According to the lawsuit, her excitement about the pending birth was replaced with “anger, disappointment and fear.”

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Cramblett said she and Zinkon love their 2-year-old daughter, Payton, very much and wouldn’t change anything about her. But they are concerned about raising her in the predominantly white community where they live.

The lawsuit said they had moved from Akron to Uniontown for better schools and to be closer to Cramblett’s family. She said that as a lesbian she has felt the sting of prejudice but doesn’t know what it’s like to be mistreated because of skin color.

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Cramblett said she decided to sue to prevent the sperm bank from making the same mistake again. The lawsuit says the sperm bank has no electronic record-keeping and no quality controls that would have prevented it from sending the wrong sperm to fertility clinics.

The lawsuit seeks a minimum of $50,000 in damages. Cramblett’s attorney, Tim Misny, said some of the compensation would pay for ongoing counseling.

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