White Lesbian Couple and Their Biracial Daughter
A mix up created a mixed child...
On September 4, 2015, a case against a sperm bank in Ohio was rejected.
In 2011, Jennifer Cramblett and Amanda Zinkon decided it was time to start a family. Jennifer became pregnant in December via artificial insemination.
About half-way through her pregnancy, the couple called Midwest Sperm Bank, seeking to use the same donor so that Amanda could become pregnant with a child that would be a biological sibling to Jennifer’s. At that time, it was discovered that a mistake had been made, and the sperm bank used the sperm of a black donor. Cramblett and Zinkon had specified wanting a Caucasian donor since they are both white, and light in color.
In August of 2012, Payton was born. She was a healthy baby girl, no signs of illness or injury. According to her mothers, she is "a beautiful, obviously mixed race, baby girl."
Here’s where things begin to get complicated. Midwest Sperm bank gave a partial refund as well as a letter of apology to the couple. The women, however, wanted more than that. They filed a suit against Midwest for Payton’s “birth defect.”
Technically, there is no birth defect. She is a bright, happy, and healthy child. There have been no medical expenses incurred as a result of this situation. That is why this case was eventually dismissed.
Time has gone by, and Payton is now three. However, if you were to search any of the names of facets of this case, you would find multiple headlines and links.
For the LGBT community, a case such as this is a difficult one at best. On the upside of things, we’re watching another LGBT family come into being. It is wonderful to see the creation more and more families like theirs. That in itself is a victory for our community.
On the downside, we’re seeing a terrible case of racism. The mothers have said that they love their daughter. They claim that the small Ohio town that they live in is very Caucasian, and rather close-minded. They focus on the “stress and anxiety” Payton’s melanin causes the two women.
It is very easy to imagine that a small, mid-western town would be less than ecstatic to see a “mixed” child in their schools. It’s not difficult to conceive of the possible prejudices they and Payton would face. Any person with anbi or multi-racial background knows the obstacles that she could very likely encounter. No one should have to suffer through that. People can be cruel. How much crueler, though, is it when her own parents are focused solely on her appearance? Via interviews and the lawsuit claim, Jennifer has been noted as to making comments about Payton’s hair, and needing to go to certain salons since it is “the typical hair of an African-American girl.” She claims she would have to travel a fair distance to bring her to such a salon, and she assumes that they obviously do not appear like the “typical” patrons of such a salon, and that they might not be welcomed there. What kind of environment is that for Payton to be in?
A case such as this only hurts the LGBT community, the minority community, and of course, the LGBT minority community. If this were a case involving a heterosexual couple, the news coverage might be significantly altered. Were this to happen to an African-American couple, the story could be dramatically different. What’s sad is that this is even happening; that the color of a child’s skin warrants a law suit and headlines. It is so important to note that “mixed” or biracial people come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. There are no definitive markers that separate or divide all races. A situation such as this serves to remind us that humanity comes in all colors, and that we are all a part of the one and only human race.
Now that the case has been thrown out, all we can do is wait and see what happens. The family has since moved to Akron, partially due to racial concerns. Payton will continue to grow and develop as any three year old would. Hopefully this story will have a happy ending where Payton’s skin color is completely irrelevant, and that she is wholly loved and accepted by her family.