Haben Girma's mother was a refugee from Eritrea, and her father was from Ethiopia.
Haben Girma was born on July 29, 1988, in Oakland, California, United States. In 1983, five years before Girma was born, her mother Saba Gebreyesus fled Eritrea. After her mother settled in California and met Haben's father, Girma was born deaf-blind. She also has an older deaf-blind brother.