Man Who Fathered Hundreds Barred From Sperm Donation

    The Hawk
    April29/ 2023

     Sperm Donation

    The Hague (Netherlands): A 41-year-old man, who fathered between 550 and 600 children, has been stopped from donating sperm to prospective parents, a court in the Netherlands ruled on Friday, reported The New York Times.
    According to The Hague District Court, the man told lies about the number of children he has already fathered, the times he donated sperm, and even about his intention to donate more sperm.
    "All these parents are now confronted with the fact that the children in their family are part of a huge kinship network, with hundreds of half-siblings, which they did not choose," the court said as The New York Times reported.
    Due to Dutch privacy laws, the government has not revealed the identity of the man publicly. However, in an email to The New York Times, for an article, a spokesman for the health ministry, confirmed his identity as Jonathan Jacob Meijer (41), the report said.
    Gerrit-Jan KleinJan, the spokesman, wrote, "Donors must sign an agreement with their clinic that they don't donate sperm at other clinics."
    He added, "The sperm donor you are writing about made this agreement as well. Nevertheless, he donated at more sperm banks resulting in 102 babies."
    The court's decision came after Meijer was sued by the Dutch Donor Child Foundation, which stands for the interests of sperm donors' children, and a mother who had one of his children. "The children deserve a rest," the mother said in a statement on Friday, according to The New York Times.
    The court cited negative psychological consequences for the children and said that barring Meijer from continuing to donate was in the children's best interest. It would be hard for them to cultivate relationships with so many biological half-siblings, and it adds to a higher chance of incest, the court said, as reported by The New York Times.
    According to court documents, Meijer donated sperm to at least 11 fertility clinics in the Netherlands itself. As per rules in the Netherlands, each of those clinics allows his sperm to produce 25 children or be donated to a maximum of 12 mothers. According to court records, Meijer also told lies to the clinics saying he hadn't donated anywhere else and wasn't planning on doing so in the future.
    According to a 2017 report, Meijer fathered 102 children through Dutch clinics between 2007 and 2017. Between 2015 and 2018, he also donated sperm to a fertility clinic in Denmark that, at the time, didn't place a limit on the number of children produced from donated sperm and that sent semen to people in other countries, according to The New York Times.
    Meijer also used to offer his sperm on social media platforms in the Netherlands and abroad. Meijer keeps in touch with multiple parents, the Court said.
    Posting an image of two clinking champagne glasses on Twitter, The Dutch Donor Child Foundation celebrated the court's verdict, saying, "Important step forward! - supported the ruling." Ester de Lau, a board member, said, "We're happy that the judge ruled that it's not a good idea to have countless half-siblings."
    The lawmakers in the Netherlands are in the process of implementing new rules for sperm donors to protect children's interests. The Dutch House of Representatives hold a debate on the issue this month.
    According to Ernst Kuipers, the minister of health, welfare and sport, "In the Netherlands, we think it's important that everyone has facts about their lineage."
    It has been possible for donor children to request such information since 2004. But the government wants to establish a central registry that would show whether a sperm donor has donated to multiple clinics.
    According to the new proposed bill, "The new rules would discourage undesirable situations in which sperm donors sometimes father hundreds of children," according to The New York Times.
    Ester de Lau also said she supported the bill, but that it was needed to go further to ensure that donor children could also look up for any possible private donations and donations abroad. She said, "The registry can start in the Netherlands, but needs to be international," adding, "This isn't something that is limited to the Netherlands."
    In Europe, there are various sperm donation laws. After it was discovered that Meijer had also been active in Belgium, the health minister there announced the creation of a similar registry, The New York Times reported. —ANI

    Categories :HealthTags :Sperm Donation