Paid for a White Baby: How Assisted Reproductive Technologies Reproduce White Supremacy
Written By: M. Annie Houghton-Larsen
“The white genetic tie—if free from any trace of blackness—is an extremely valua-ble attribute entitling a child to a privileged status.”
—Dorothy Roberts, Killing the Black Body: Race, Production, and the Meaning of Liberty1
In 2012, Jennifer Cramblett and Amanda Zinkon brought home their healthy baby girl Payton. However, Payton was not the baby the couple paid for—Payton was not white. The lesbian couple employed a sperm bank to fulfill their desire to have genetically related offspring. The sperm bank mistakenly inseminated Cramblett with sperm from black donor #330 instead of their chosen white donor #380. 2 Instead of the white baby that the couple carefully selected, the couple received “a beautiful, obviously mixed-race, baby girl.”3 So they sued.
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1. DOROTHY ROBERTS, KILLING THE BLACK BODY 269 (2014).
2. Complaint at 16, Cramblett v. Midwest Sperm Bank, LLC, No. 2014-L-010159 (Ill. Cir. Ct. Sept. 29, 2014), 2014 WL 4853400 [hereinafter Complaint].
3. Id. at 22.