The Lesbian Couple and the Biracial Baby that Spurred a Lawsuit

Two things happened this week that got me thinking.

1) After the neighbors who lived across the street from my house moved out, I met the family who will be moving in; and
2) A white lesbian couple sued their fertility clinic because they got the wrong color baby.

These may sound like totally unrelated events, and they are. But in my crazy reasoning they have woven together into an artful tapestry.

The mistake by the fertility clinic occurred when staff mixed up the test tubes containing the donated sperm. The woman whose egg was being fertilized had requested the sperm of a white man with blue eyes as the baby-daddy. She claims she wanted the baby to look like her lesbian partner. As if anyone would think that her female partner had fathered (mothered?) her child. Or is it really that their “white privilege” is showing?

The [court] filings paint a picture of a white couple’s discomfort with the admitted “steep learning curve” they have had to overcome in terms of understanding black people, black culture, black experiences and even how to do a black child’s hair.

cramblett and biracial child
The Ohio woman who gave birth, her biracial child, and her lesbian partner.

In this day and age, any time I hear someone selectively choosing one race over another sirens go off in my brain. I see an image of a marquee blazing the word “RACISM” in large neon letters. Why should a woman (women) be able to pick the color of a child? Why isn’t that a racist choice? The women say that because the child is biracial child she will suffer from discrimination in the locality in which they have chosen to live? But lest we think they are bad mothers, they assert that they love their biracial child. They just don’t like her color. They wish she was white like they are. At least the biological mother did not abort the child when she found out about the mix up in sperm.

If the Ohio court allows this case to go forward, isn’t this a form of state-sanctioned discrimination? Will Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton descend with their minions upon the Ohio town where this discrimination is being perpetrated? Can the argument that the woman had a contractual agreement with the fertility clinic trump the social justice issue: you know, the justice that should come with knowing that we area ALL created equal even though our skin is a different color and we have different genitalia and DNA and chromosomes and hair texture?

One might think that two “gayby boomers” who want to be treated equally in all matters would realize that choosing the color of their child’s skin is blatant discrimination, not to mention classic eugenics. Are we are supposed to feel sorry for THEM because the child one of them begot will grow up biracial in what they insist is a racist society? Is that not irony in its purest form? We didn’t want a biracial child because she will grow up in a racist society. Are we to believe that the small Ohio town that will sneer at their biracial child will lovingly embrace their lesbian lifestyle? I am only asking the questions that others are thinking.

What does it say about our society when these two women who demand equal treatment of their relationship can pick the color of their child and sue when the vendor fails to deliver? What does it say when these same two women would undoubtedly sue a vendor who would dare to say, “I want to make wedding cakes for people who adhere to the definition of marriage that I prefer.” Does the old adage the customer is always right govern here?  When a photographer wants to photograph marriages between men and women, why can s/he not be selective? Is money the reason that some people are not allowed to discriminate while others are?

Here is where meeting my new neighbors yesterday comes into the picture. When the former homeowners told us a month ago that they were moving out, my husband and I mentioned that we did not know their house was on the market. They informed us that they never listed it. Instead, they had gotten a letter from a company that solicited them to sell their house. The company has people who come to them to help them find a home to purchase in the D.C. area. It is almost like a headhunter situation where someone looking for a job is paired up with potential companies that are hiring. Very little is revealed about the buyer to the sellers, and vice-versa.

Could something like that work for business owners who want to conduct business in a manner that does not violate their religious beliefs? The situation that comes to mind, naturally, is same sex marriage. Could someone open a clearinghouse for vendors who want to select the clients or customers whom they will service? Potential purchasers could contact the clearinghouse to give their criteria for what they want in a vendor or a product, and a vendor who meets that criteria (having given their wills-and-won’ts to the clearinghouse) would be recommended by the clearinghouse. The clearinghouse would charge a fee for actual referrals and/for allowing a vendor to join the pool of vendors. The list would be kept secret and no one would necessarily know why a particular vendor was not recommended.

If houses can be brokered why not other services? If this already is being done in your neck of the woods, how does it seem to be working? Let us hear from you if you have thoughts on the practicality, legality, or morality of such a business prospect.

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Ava Gardner