Have you ever gone shopping only to arrive home and find you did not get what you paid for? Although an inconvenience, you probably went back to the store for the correct item. An Ohio lesbian couple had a similar situation – what they purchased is not what they got, but in their case the purchase was final.
Wanting a child, the couple sifted through a stack of profiles of men who had donated to the Midwest Sperm Bank. Once they made a decision – a blonde-haired, blue-eyed white man, the couple purchased two vials back. After insemination, the couple decided to order six additional vials so their child could have a blood-related sibling. Imagine how they felt when they learned the vials of sperm they purchased were from Donor No. 330 –a black man, when they had selected Donor No. 370 – a white man.
The inseminated woman filed a wrongful birth lawsuit against Midwest Sperm Bank alleging pain, suffering, emotional distress and a host of other problems. The lawsuit also alleges the sperm bank has no electronic record-keeping and no quality controls that would have prevented it from sending the wrong sperm to fertility clinics.
Since filing the lawsuit, the couple has received quite a bit of criticism for what some have called a racist attitude. The woman said the case is about negligence and accountability, not “we didn’t want you.” She said she loves the child, calling her a “dream come true.” Despite that love, she did not ask for a bi-racial child; she was given one. She was unprepared for the challenges she faces, but that does not mean she is racist.
This case reminds me of a white couple from New York that filed a lawsuit against a fertility clinic accused of mistakenly inseminating the woman with sperm other than her husband’s. The couple filed suit after the wife gave birth to a daughter whose skin they thought was too dark to be their child. While they contend that they love their daughter, she is also a daily reminder of the mistake that was made.
As I have repeatedly mentioned on this forum, wrongful birth and medical malpractice cases are, at their core, about negligence and holding the wrongdoer accountable. Yet, those on the right side of the tort reform debate will stop at nothing to further their anti-citizen political agenda; they will even throw out “the race card” for their political agenda.
Mark Bello is the CEO and General Counsel of Lawsuit Financial Corporation, a pro-justice lawsuit funding company.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series. Mark Bello is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.