We live in a world where blackness and brownness invites oppression, disenfranchisement, dehumanization, and danger. We live in a world where Black girls cannot wear their hair to school in its natural state without it being against a dress code. We live in a world where Black girls are shot down in the middle of the night for no good reason at all. As a result, the parents of Black and brown children live in a reality of fear and constant negotiation with the racist world around them in order to ensure their children’s well-being.
Jennifer Cramblett and her domestic partner, Amanda Zinkon, were thrust into this reality when the Midwest Sperm Bank in Cook County, Illinois, carelessly gave them the sperm of donor 330, an African-American man, instead of donor 380, the white man they had selected in 2011. With the birth of their biracial daughter, they suddenly joined the legions of women who feared for their Black children, compromised for their Black children, moved neighborhoods for their Black children, got in arguments with the prejudiced people close to them for their Black children, and loved their Black children throughout it all. They became mothers of a biracial child, a Black child, and they took on the emotional duress that comes with that.
But Cramblett and her partner experienced a compounding of their white privilege in that they had a unique opportunity to attempt to be compensated for the harsh, unfair, and emotionally difficult reality of parenting a biracial child. They are currently suing the Midwest Sperm Bank for upwards of $50,000 in damages for emotional distress, pain, suffering, and other economic and non-economic losses for now and in the future. Because the blackness of a beautiful two-year-old was an accident, they can seek reparations.