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A lesbian couple walks into a sperm bank….Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Actually, it’s not a joke. The lesbian couple did not technically walk into a sperm bank but they did order sperm from a bank in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove. Jennifer Cramblett and Amanda Zinkon, a White couple living in Ohio selected sperm from a White male provided by the Midwest Sperm Bank. Cramblett used the sperm to become impregnated with her first child, but just months before little Payton arrived in August of 2012 Cramblett received a communication from the donor bank informing her she had been given the wrong sperm.

Her baby would be Black.

Unsurprisingly Cramblett is suing the sperm bank for “wrongful birth and breach of warranty.” While she can’t be blamed for being a little miffed that she did not receive the product she purchased, her reasoning behind the lawsuit is unnerving to say the least. Here are some of Cramblett’s main concerns with now being forced to be the mother of a Black child as laid out in the lawsuit:

On August 21, 2012, Jennifer gave birth to Payton, a beautiful, obviously mixed-race baby girl. Jennifer bonded with Payton easily and she and Amanda love her very much. Even so, Jennifer lives each day with fears, anxieties and uncertainty about her future and Payton’s future.

What kind of anxieties, you may ask? Just the typical anxieties of any normal, bigoted parent trying to raise a Black child.

As just one example, getting a young daughter’s hair cut is not particularly stressful for most mothers, but to Jennifer it is not a routine matter, because Payton has hair typical of an African American girl. To get a decent cut, Jennifer must travel to a black neighborhood, far from where she lives, where she is obviously different in appearance, and not overtly welcome.

So Cramblett is emotionally distressed by her Black baby because now she’s going to have to travel to a Black neighborhood to get her baby’s hair cut.  Quelle horreur! Note to Ms.Cramblett: I live in the suburbs with my black family and mostly white people and we also must travel out of our town for decent haircuts. It’s actually nice to have a reason to take the kids to different areas where they can interact with different races. We call that “mingling.” I shudder to think of poor little Payton growing up with anxieties about those “scary black people” because her mother can’t handle a trip to the beauty shop once every two months.

One of Jennifer’s biggest fears is the life experiences Payton will undergo, not only in her all-white community, but in her all-white, and often unconsciously insensitive, family. Despite her family’s attempts to accept her homosexuality, they have not been capable of truly embracing Jennifer for who she is. They do not converse with her about her gender preference, and encourage her not to “look different,” signaling their disapproval of her lesbianism. Though compelled to repress her individuality amongst family members, Payton’s differences are irrepressible, and Jennifer does not want Payton to feel stigmatized or unrecognized…

What could be more stigmatizing for Payton than growing up with a mother (or two?) that obsesses and anguishes over her “irrepressible” skin color every day in every interaction? Cramblett clearly doesn’t really like black people but she doesn’t seem to have a lot of faith in white people either. What’s a little biracial child with two white, lesbian mothers to do? Then there’s this:

Jennifer’s stress and anxiety intensify when she envisions Payton entering an all-white school. Ironically, Jennifer and Amanda moved to Uniontown from racially diverse Akron, because the schools were better and to be closer to family. Jennifer is well aware of the child psychology research and literature correlating intolerance and racism with reduced academic and psychological well-being of biracial children. 

So the White baby they were going to have would have been just fine growing up around the racists, bigots and homophobes of Uniontown and her own family, but the Black baby is a problem? The only thing ironic about the couple’s move from Akron is that they were perfectly content raising a racist white kid close to the very family that has “not been capable of truly embracing Jennifer for who she is.” Sounds like this couple was off to a stellar parenting start from the beginning. Not to worry, though. Jennifer has done lots of research on how being biracial basically makes you stupid and crazy.

Based upon the aforementioned facts and circumstances, all of Jennifer’s therapists and experts agree that for her psychological and parental well-being, she must relocate to a racially diverse community with good schools.

All of her therapists? How many therapists does one racist lesbian need? It is also interesting that the therapists and experts aren’t cited as having concern for Payton’s well-being. The only reason the couple needs to move is for Ms.Cramblett’s mental health. I question the logic of that decision given that Cramblett clearly isn’t comfortable around minorities.

It is sad for baby Payton that although she has been born into one of the most racially diverse countries in the world in the most diverse of times she will still be saddled with her mother’s antiquated notions of life as a biracial child. With inter-racial adoptions on the rise and inter-marriage becoming commonplace there is not a whole lot of stigma left when it comes to biracial children; and if it’s any small comfort to Ms.Cramblett, I’ve been a biracial female for over 40 years now and yet I somehow managed to graduate high school and college while avoiding the need for antipsychotic drugs. Biracial kids can be normal too.

What is fascinating is that Cramblett identifies as a lesbian. The LGBT community is pretty familiar with bigotry and rejection. Cramblett herself admits being hurt by the perceived lack of acceptance from her family, and yet here she is suing her sperm donor bank in part because she cannot bring herself to accept that her daughter is Black and being Black isn’t weird.

As a mother and a biracial Black woman I hope for Payton’s sake she never has to see this lawsuit or know what it says. What a burden that poor child is going to have to grow up with already, knowing she wasn’t the baby her mother “purchased” and that her mere appearance is a source of great anxiety for the people now tasked with raising her.

Kudos to the Chicago Tribune for covering this story. It isn’t exactly great optics for the “tolerance; NOH8” crowd that is too often spared a more critical eye from those we depend on to report the facts. The truth is no one group or belief system is immune from bias and ignorance. Those who face their own rejections in life can often turn into the worst offenders.

Good luck, Payton.

30 Responses

  1. Chris

    Fantastic article. This coming from a white heterosexual male with a white heterosexual wife and white heterosexual son living in a white neighborhood. Oh, by the way, we are and have been, a foster family in Florida and previously had a bi-racial- black baby live with us for 3 years who we love with all our hearts to this day. We see her almost every weekend since she was reunified. She is now 6 and we love her as much as our bio son. Please let this couple know that I and my family are willing, RIGHT NOW, TODAY, I MEAN IMMEDIATELY, to accept the life long sacrifice of raising Payton. And, I don’t even have to move to a more racially diverse neighborhood.
    The mother is a moron. The partner’s not much better.

    Again, Thanks for the article.

    • Don

      Yes great article. If this story get mainstreamed she’s really going to be stressed.

      She wanted a baby, and a baby is a baby is a baby.

      • dmacleo

        sorry I mistyped my user name
        its dmacleo for those that see me on other sites

    • Jae

      I also wanted to adopt Payton after seeing this story and an interview. I hope she does well in life.

  2. genes

    It’s odd how much more racist the North is than the South these days. In a small Southern town a white dude(me) married a younger black woman with two wonderful little girls. One a lite skinned redbone (Red to her maternal granpa) and the other “the blackest girl on campus”. Not once did I run into trouble with them or receive strange looks. They haven’t experienced racism, my two lite skinned grandchildren haven’t either.
    I find it hard to believe that there isn’t a styling salon in a mall or shopping center near them that has a black stylist. If she thinks getting a cut is bad, wait till she finds out about “perms” and weave.

    • Melissa

      Hear hear. I never lived south of Philadelphia and I have placed enormous amounts of racism, including being called “nigger” so much I have literally lost count. It’s happened here too — once I was driving with my sister, another middle-aged black woman, and some white man shouted “nigger” at us. We were both stunned, as we were just driving along minding our own business. I guess our crime was BTW (Breathing While Black).

      I grew up in western New York, which is an extremely racist part of the country and is about far North as you can get. Also, people seem to ignore the fact that except for Miami and Los Angeles (yes LA), all the most segregated cities in the country are in the Midwest and North. My hometown of Philadelphia is in the top then, as is New York City. NYC also has the most segregated school system in the country!

      My daughter (who by the way, is biracial and is a very happy and emotionally healthy young woman — having a black mother didn’t seem to do much to harm her) lives in Atlanta with her husband and wants me to relocate there. I am seriously thinking of it. I am not saying that racism is not a problem in the South, but there has to be a reason why black folks are relocating to places like Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta, etc.) I am willing to give it a try — why not?

  3. Caroline

    She could have just cut to the chase and met the desired father in person to make sure everything went right… oh, yeah, she’s a lesbian.

  4. Tim Smith

    I read the title and nearly laughed, But waited until I finished and am now saddened. I feel sorry for this woman. I really do. the first thing she will teach her child is to fear what people might say. Show the child love, raise her right and keep her well grounded. Above all make God a big part of her life and she’ll be fine.

    • EdWatts

      Mr. Smith, it’s a safe bet that Payton will not receive much exposure to God; God is not high on the priorities lists of most homosexuals.

      • Caroline

        But, at the risk of sounding atheistic, which I’m not, being Christian…

        If the parents are well grounded and provide the child a moral and educated upbringing, the child can make his/her own decisions later in life about God and religion. In my experience, I have witnessed many instances of supposedly “Christian” parents who raised non-thinking children who went on to be non-thinking adults who never gave a thought about the possibility of a higher existance or personal salvation.

        Over the years, I’ve witnessed some homosexual parents raise their kids better than some heterosexual parents. I’ll take the kid’s well-being over ideology any day. If raised right, the kids will be able to figure out the meaning of life on the own.

      • EdWatts

        Worse response — churches are not filled with homosexuals. Political Correctness clouds critical thinking and rational thought.

  5. Drooly McGee

    ‘How many therapists does one racist lesbian need?’ Isn’t that the name of a new Netflix Original series?

  6. beezus

    The mom is so worried about her kid underperforming in school. Doesn’t she realize that if her girl can overcome these perceived “obstacles” and do reasonably well in school, she’ll be able to name the college she wants to go to…all because of the mix-up at the sperm bank. If she truly cares that much about her child’s academic potential, she should be thanking the sperm bank.

  7. Carole Ann Mela

    Thank you! My thoughts exactly are the little girl and what she will think and feel. Be happy with what God gave you!

    • Melissa

      Can you imagine how this beautiful child is going to feel someday when her parents thought she should have never been born?

      • Melissa

        I am sorry, I meant to say that when she learns that her parents thought she had never been born?

  8. Lisa

    Maybe this can be an enlightening experience for this woman and her family. If you read between the lines, though, I feel something more might be going on. This woman is SCARED of black people. Perhaps something happened to her to cause her to be that way. After all, she does have multiple therapists. Why would she need those? Either way, I hope it works out.

    The only thing I do take exception to is the author. Are you black or are you biracial? You used both in the same sentence – “biracial black woman.” But they aren’t the same thing. Own who you are. I don’t buy into that whole “I claim black because I have 2% black heritage” thing. You are disreprecting an entire line of your ancestry.

    • clearly

      She is not disrespecting anything, you’re creating your own projection out of what you are feeling, not what she was saying. She said “biracial black woman” because biracial is not specifically black and white.. biracial can be a mix of ANY two races (asian & white, black and asian..long etc.). Anyway, typically when one of the races is clarified it is assumed the second is white, but in any case she wasn’t trying to claim just a portion of her heritage, she was clarifying the significance of which to say that the parents are being stupid to say black biracial babies won’t be okay because she’s okay and she is black biracial.

      • clearly

        For her to say “I am black” when she is black biracial would be disrespecting the entire line of her white ancestry.. She spoke correctly.

  9. Dude

    How does, for example, this lady think Barack Obama happened? Even his opponents will admit he is successful. He grew up in a much more racist era than the current one.

  10. Colgruv

    I don’t think the fact that the woman is a lesbian is relevant enough for you to reiterate it every other sentence. Some people are gay and some people have racial prejudices.

  11. pinkSugar

    Wasn’t is Melissa Harris-Perry who famously mocked the Romneys for adopting a black baby?
    The left (which preaches Tolerance) does not understand what true Tolerance and Acceptance really is..

  12. Anon

    So white women should be forced to have and keep black children. I wonder if this would get the same media attention if this were a black couple that had a white baby. I have a felling it wouldn’t, I bet they would have sued and won and that childhood have gone to a foster home if they were…

  13. Special

    she should be grateful that she was able to have a child since she is a lesbian, which doesn’t allow you to have children..

    • EdWatts

      Yeah, but…

      …There’s a reason why God designed things like that; He didn’t want His children being born into or raised in perversion. Heck, that’s the reason why Western Civilization — including America — would not allow homosexuals to be around children, much less “parent” them, until recently, when our moral compass ceased to function.

      “Flipping the bird” at God is NEVER a good idea! I saw a bumper sticker a while ago which said, “Jesus is coming…and He’s PISSED!” If God doesn’t destroy America and Europe soon, He owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology.


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