June 13, 2024

Balkan Travellers

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The sperm donor who has fathered 550 children has been ordered to stop

The sperm donor who has fathered 550 children has been ordered to stop

  • By Emily McGarvey
  • BBC News

image source, Getty Images

photo caption,

Frozen storage in a sperm bank

A Dutch man suspected of fathering more than 550 children worldwide through sperm donation has been ordered to stop.

The man named Jonathan, 41, could be fined more than €100,000 (£88,000) if he tries to donate again.

He was banned from donating to fertility clinics in the Netherlands in 2017 after it emerged that he had fathered more than 100 children.

But instead of stopping, he continued to donate sperm abroad and online.

A court in The Hague asked him to provide a list of all the clinics he used and to order them to destroy his sperm.

It was said that the man misled hundreds of women.

Dutch clinical guidelines state that the donor should not be more than 25 children from 12 families.

But judges said the man has helped father between 550 and 600 children since he began donating sperm in 2007.

It was taken to court by a foundation that protects the rights of child donors, and the mother of one of the children allegedly born from his sperm.

“The point is that this kinship network with hundreds of half-brothers and half-sisters is very large,” said court spokesman Gert Mark Smelt.

More than 100 of the children fathered to the man were delivered in Dutch clinics and others privately, but he also donated to a Danish clinic that sent his semen to addresses in various countries.

Nor is a man allowed to contact any of the prospective parents “in the hope that he will be willing to donate his semen… to advertise his services to prospective fathers or to join any organization that establishes contact between prospective parents,” the judge said.

The District Court in The Hague said the donor had “intentionally misled” prospective parents about how many children they had already fathered in the past.

She added that “all these parents are now faced with the fact that their family’s children are part of a huge kinship network, with hundreds of half-siblings, which they did not choose.”

The court said it was “reasonable enough” that this had or could have negative psychological and social consequences for the children.

Sperm donors are told to limit the number of times they give their services, to reduce the chance that siblings will inadvertently become a couple and have children together.

The Netherlands has been plagued by fertility scandals in the past.