A court in the Netherlands on Friday, April 28 ordered a man who judges said had fathered between 500 and 600 children around the world to stop donating sperm.
The 41-year-old Dutchman was forbidden to donate more semen to clinics, the court ruling said. He could be fined 100,000 euros ($110,000) per infraction.
The court also ordered the man to write letters to clinics abroad asking them to destroy any of his semen they have in stock, except doses reserved for parents who already had children by him.
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The decision came after a civil case started by a foundation representing the interests of donor children and Dutch parents who had used the man as a donor.
They argued that the man’s continued donations violated the right to a private life of his donor children, whose ability to form romantic relationships are hampered by fears of accidental incest and inbreeding.
The man’s mass sperm donations first came to light in 2017 and he was banned from donating to Dutch fertility clinics, where he had already fathered over 100 children.
But, he continued to donate abroad, including to the Danish sperm bank Cryos which operates internationally.
The man also continued to offer himself as a donor on sites matching prospective parents with sperm donors, sometimes using a different name, according to the Algemeen Dagblad daily.
Jonathan Jacob Meijer, 41, a musician,
is believed to have donated sperm to at least 13 clinics, including 11 in The Netherlands. Meijer was blacklisted from donating in his native country in 2017 after it was revealed that he had fathered 102 offspring – well over the official 25-child limit.
“If I had known he had already fathered more than 100 children I would never have chosen this donor,” the plaintiff, “Eva,” who gave birth to one of Meijer’s children in 2018, said in March
“When I think about the consequences this could have for my child I am sick to my stomach. Going to court is the only way to protect my child.”
DonorKind attorney Mark de Hek said the lawsuit was initiated after women repeatedly begged Meijer to stop donating his sperm.
“We and some of the mothers have approached him. They have asked him to stop. He refused. This is why legal action is the only option to protect children,” he explained.
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