Wrong Sperm Donor Equals Wrongful Birth
Typically a wrongful birth claim arises in situations where a physician may fail to undertake certain prenatal test or fails to warn parents of their risks of conceiving or giving birth to a child with serious genetic or congenital abnormalities. A same-sex couple (Jennifer and Amanda) in Ohio is suing a sperm bank for wrongful birth. The couple purchased from a sperm bank in Chicago sperm from a Caucasian donor, donor number 380. The facility in error sent them the sperm from donor 330, an African-American. Jennifer became pregnant and April of 2012 the couple learned they were having a girl. The couple, ecstatic about having daughter called the sperm bank to request more sperm from the same donor, whom the couple believed was donor number 380. It was at this point they discovered that the clinic had provided them donor 330, an African-American.
According to the complaint, Jennifer gave birth to their daughter whom they love dearly; however the complaint alleges that Jennifer lives in fear and with uncertainty about her and the baby’s future and safety. This uncertainty, the complaint alleges, is based on part due to the racial intolerance of her town and her family’s resistance to accept her sexual orientation. The complaint even alleges this fear also arises from having to travel to an African-American neighborhood to get her daughter’s hair cut, because in part Jennifer stands out and is not openly welcome because of her race.
Do you believe that Jennifer should be able to seek damages for the alleged “wrongful birth”? Should Julie be entitled to any legal remedy for the error on part of the clinic? Keep in mind that wrongful birth claims typically involve situations of congenital or genetic abnormalities.