Should white mom be paid for brown baby mistake?
What is the price of being forced to raise a brown baby?
It's an unusual question, arising from an unusual lawsuit prompted by an insemination gone wrong. And it has set off an extraordinary discussion touching on sensitive issues of race, motherhood, sexuality and justice, though the debate begins with one basic premise: You should get what you pay for.
Jennifer Cramblett and her wife, Amanda Zinkon, wanted a white baby. They went to the Midwest Sperm Bank near Chicago and chose blond, blue-eyed donor No. 380, who looked like he could have been related to Zinkon. When Cramblett was five months pregnant, they found out that she had been inseminated by donor No. 330 — a black man."They're saying, we asked for something, you gave us something different, and now we have to adjust to that."
That "adjustment" is a major justification for Cramblett's lawsuit. It cites the stress and anxiety of raising a brown girl in predominantly white Uniontown, Ohio, which Cramblett describes as intolerant. Some of her own family members have unconscious racial biases, the lawsuit says.Mullen agrees that a company should be held liable for promising one thing and doing another. But she thinks the fact Cramblett waited more than two years to sue indicates that the experience of raising a black child is her real problem.
"When you say this is too hard, I didn't deserve this, this is too much for me to handle, then the child internalizes it and it affects their self-esteem," she says. "It's my job to pour self-esteem into my daughter, not tear it down."The deliberately provocative headline irks me, for the record. Apart from that, what do you think the implications are for this controversy... personally, socially, legally, culturally etc.? Should these parents sue? (How) Will this issue impact the child?"White people who aren't affiliated with black people don't necessarily understand the challenges that black people face in all facets of their life. This couple wasn't expecting that, and now they have to deal with it," says Rachel Dube, who owns a youth sports business in New York.
"She didn't ask for a biracial baby. She was given one, she loves it, she adores it, now she's facing challenges and admits it. That doesn't make her a racist," Dube says.
"You can't fault her for what she was not exposed to," she says. "Her only obligation is to love and raise her child in the best environment possible. And if the money will help her do that, then good for her."