A Dutch sperm donor is facing legal action to prevent him from being the biological father of more children.
Originally from The Hague and at the age of 41, he has been allegedly the father of at least five hundred and fifty children worldwide.
A woman who conceived a child in 2018 using his sperm is behind the lawsuit, along with the Donorkind Foundation, which advocates for the rights of children resulting from these donations.
The man – called Jonathan M. in the country’s press – has donated his sperm to at least 13 clinics in the Netherlands and abroad, according to the foundation.
Twenty-five children maximum
The regulations establish that a man can donate sperm for a maximum of twenty-five children or for twelve families, in order to avoid incestuous relationships and protect mental health of the resulting children.
“If I had known that I had already fathered more than a hundred children, I would never have chosen this donor,” the mother who initiated the procedure lamented in a statement.
“When I think about the consequences this can have for my son, my guts churn and I feel insecure about his future: how many more children do we have to add? Going to court is the only way to protect my son.”
Blacklisted since she was a hundred
The man was already on his country’s blacklist in 2017, after it came to light that he had more than a hundred children.
The Dutch Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology (NVOG) then asked all specialist companies and clinics to stop using their sperm immediately.
Not only in the Netherlands
Jonathan M. would have continued to donate abroad and through illegal channels.
The Donorkind Foundation maintains that it contacts women who want to be mothers through social networks.
He has allegedly lied about the number of children he has fathered through sperm banks. According to Mark de Hek, a lawyer for the foundation, she breached the agreements with the clinics and with the prospective parents, who relied on her commitment to conceive a maximum of twenty-five children.
“The donor prioritized his urge to reproduce and his conduct poses a threat to the mental and physical well-being of the unborn children“Hek laments.
Dutch media reports that Jonathan M. now lives in Kenya and declined to comment on the legal proceedings against him.
The Progress Educational Trust (PET), a platform for people suffering from infertility or genetic problems, explains that the 25-offspring limit is designed to maintain levels of inbreeding among donor-conceived individuals similar to those in the general population.
“When the genetic material of a donor is present in a large number of offspring, the risk -very small- increases that two half-siblings may have an intimate relationship,” explains this association.
The details of the legal proceedings remain to be known.
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