When a Wrongful Birth Claim May Not Be Wrong: Race, Inequality, and the Cost of Blackness

11 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2018

Date Written: October 26, 2018


The year 2017 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia decision, in which a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Today, when we consider interracial loving, we tend to envision romantic relationships. What is often overlooked, however, is the relationship between parent and child: among the most intimate of relationships. A primary reason for this oversight may be that we do not often conceptualize the parent and child relationship as an interracial space. Indeed, although most people select their romantic partners, few are afforded the opportunity to select their children outside of the contexts of adoption and assisted reproductive technology (ART). While there has been debate over the years about transracial adoptions, there has been little controversy surrounding race selection in ART. This may be due to the fact that within the ART sphere, race, particularly the presumption of race concordance between parents and their children, is seen as neutral and natural: a biological imperative. This assumption and the race selection that occurs in ART are rarely questioned or interrogated. This Essay disrupts these assumptions by using a recent case, Cramblett v. Midwest Sperm Bank, LLC, as a point of departure for examining the meaning and operation of race in the United States.

Suggested Citation

Paul-Emile, Kimani, When a Wrongful Birth Claim May Not Be Wrong: Race, Inequality, and the Cost of Blackness (October 26, 2018). Fordham Law Review, Vol. 86, No. 2811, 2018, Fordham Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 3273512, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3273512

Kimani Paul-Emile (Contact Author)

Fordham University School of Law ( email )

140 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023
United States

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