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Sperm donor alleged to have fathered 550 children faces legal action

FILE PHOTO
FILE PHOTO Copyright HENNING BAGGER/AFP
Copyright HENNING BAGGER/AFP
By Tuba Altunkaya
Published on Updated
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A Dutch man, said to have sired hundreds of kids through sperm donation, is being taken to court to stop him fathering more.

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A Dutch sperm donor is facing legal action to stop him from fathering more children. 

The 41-year-old from The Hague has allegedly fathered at least 550 kids around the world.

A woman who conceived a child in 2018 using his donated sperm is behind the lawsuit along with the Donorkind Foundation, an organisation that stands up for the rights of donor children.

The man - named Jonathan M. in the Dutch press - has donated his sperm to at least 13 clinics in the Netherlands and overseas, according to the foundation. 

Guidelines say one person may donate sperm for up to 25 offspring or for 12 families to prevent incest relations and protect the mental health of donor children.

"If I had known he had already fathered more than a hundred children, I would never have chosen this donor," the mother who launched the proceedings against him said in a statement

"When I think about the consequences this can have for my child, I get a feeling of [the] gut and I become insecure about his future: how many more children are added?"

"Going to court is the only way to protect my child," she continued.  

The man was already blacklisted in the Netherlands in 2017 after it emerged that he had more than a hundred donor children. 

The Dutch Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (NVOG), at the time, urged all sperm banks and clinics to stop using his sperm immediately. 

'Offered his sperms under the counter'

Jonathan M. is alleged to have continued donating abroad and through illicit channels. 

The Donorkind foundation claimed the donor reaches out to prospective mothers through social media to offer his sperm under the counter. 

He has allegedly lied about the number of children he has fathered through sperm banks.

According to the foundation's lawyer Mark de Hek, the donor violated agreements with the clinics and with the prospective parents, who relied on his commitment to only conceive up to 25 children. 

"The donor prioritised his urge to reproduce and his conduct poses a threat to the mental and physical well-being of donor children," said de Hek. 

The Dutch media report Jonathan M. is now living in Kenya and declined to comment on the legal proceedings against him. 

The Progress Educational Trust (PET), a platform for people affected by infertility or genetic conditions, states the limit of 25 offspring is designed to keep levels of consanguinity among donor-conceived people similar to that in the overall population. 

"When a donor's genetic material is present in a large number of offspring, the (very small) risk that two half-siblings might form an intimate relationship is increased", PET highlighted.

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The details of the legal proceedings are yet to be announced.

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