A west suburban sperm bank says it’s implemented extra safeguards after an Ohio woman sued, claiming she ordered sperm from a white donor but gave birth to a biracial child because of a mix-up in samples.
Jennifer Cramblett and Amanda Zinkon, a lesbian couple from Ohio who are both white, went to Midwest Sperm Bank in Downers Grove to find their ideal donor, a man whose “genetic traits” were similar to their own, they said in a lawsuit filed Monday in Cook County Circuit Court.
They ordered vials from donor No. 380, but Cramblett was instead inseminated and became pregnant using vials from donor No. 330, an African-American man, the suit claims. The couple’s daughter, Payton, is now 2.
The suit claims the sperm bank kept no electronic records, and that whoever sent the couple their order misinterpreted a paper record’s “380” for “330.”
“Midwest Sperm Bank takes great pride in the services we provide to the community,” the company said in a statement released Friday by its attorney, Lea Ann Fracasso. “We have never had a situation like this occur in the past and additional identification safeguards were implemented shortly after this event.”
“Midwest Sperm Bank is committed to helping prospective parents conceive and give birth to children of their own,” the statement said. “We celebrate all those children whose parents we have assisted and are happy Ms. Cramblett gave birth to a beautiful and healthy daughter. “
The statement did not elaborate on the safeguards, and declined further comment because of the pending litigation.
In the suit, the couple said they love their daughter very much, but are also anxious about how she will be accepted in their mostly-white hometown, which they called “racially intolerant.”
Cramblett also acknowledged her own “limited cultural competency relative to African-Americans” and insensitive attitudes within her own family.
The couple had moved to their current home because of the quality of the schools there, but may now have to relocate to a more racially diverse community for their daughter’s well-being, the suit said.
The two-count suit alleges wrongful birth and breach of contract. It seeks more than $100,000 in damages.