‘Wrongful’ Inheritance: Race, Disability and Sexuality in Cramblett v. Midwest Sperm Bank
In 2014 Jennifer Cramblett, a white lesbian, filed a Complaint for Wrongful Birth alleging that the Midwest Sperm Bank mistakenly provided sperm from an African–American donor. In this article, we trace the complex and overlapping lines of legal and social inheritance that have conditioned not only the possibility of such a lawsuit, but also the legal language and arguments within the Complaint itself. First, we trace the racial politics of homonormativity, which set the conditions of possibility for an out, white lesbian to bring this case forward. Second, we trace the inheritance of wrongful birth tort law, reviewing its prior race and disability-related uses, and its basis in feminist reproductive rights. Third, we trace how disability, race and sexuality interlock within the eugenic inheritance of both ‘wrongful birth’ and reproductive technologies. Finally, we follow traces of racial inheritance, namely, the loss of white property and proximity to whiteness.
KeywordsWrongful birth Race Whiteness Homonationalism Eugenics Inheritance
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