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Ohio Town Trustee Says Biracial Sperm-Mix-Up Baby Welcome

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An Ohio town leader says he has no idea why a lesbian couple believe their biracial baby — born after a sperm-bank mix-up that is now the subject of a lawsuit — would be stigmatized in the nearly all-white community. "There's no reason anyone would act that way to a 2-year-old," said John Arnold, a trustee for Lake Township, which encompasses the child's hometown of Uniontown. "I could not fathom it."

In a lawsuit filed against Midwest Sperm Bank, mom Jennifer Cramblett said she ordered vials from a white donor, but was impregnated with sperm from a black man instead. She said racially insensitive relatives, her own lack of exposure to blacks and her town's demographics would cause problems for the family. Describing Uniontown as "racially intolerant," and said she wants to relocate to a more diverse area for her daughter Payton's well-being. Her lawyer, Thomas Intili, told NBC News that the mother and child have already experienced prejudice. "Not all of it is overt," he said. "Some of it is the looks on people’s faces. Lines of communication once open to her from friends and families are diminishing."

Census data shows Uniontown, a bedroom community, is 98 percent white, but Arnold said the community welcomes diversity. "We have a large Mennonite community and a lot of the members have adopted African-American children and babies from all over the world and those kids have been treated fine," he said. "They obviously have a beautiful, healthy 2-year-old," he said of Cramblett and her partner. "I hope that their perception of how they might be treated in Uniontown is not the reality."

Although her court papers dwell on the baby's race — even pointing out that she has to travel to a black neighborhood to get her daughter a haircut — Cramblett tearfully insisted that her primary goal is ensuring the sperm bank doesn't mix up anyone else's vials. Midwest Sperm Bank has repeatedly refused to comment on the allegations.

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