A person who has fathered between 550 and 600 kids over the previous 16 years will not be allowed to donate any extra sperm to potential dad and mom, a court docket within the Netherlands dominated on Friday.
According to The Hague District Court, the person lied concerning the variety of kids he had already fathered, the variety of sperm donations he had made and his intention to donate much more sperm.
“All these dad and mom are actually confronted with the truth that the kids of their household are a part of an enormous kinship community, with a whole bunch of half siblings, which they didn’t select,” the court docket mentioned.
Because of Dutch privateness legal guidelines, the federal government has not publicly named the person, Jonathan Jacob Meijer, 41, within the court docket proceedings because the donor in query. However, in an e-mail to The New York Times for a 2021 article about him, a spokesperson for the well being ministry confirmed his identification. “Donors should signal an settlement with their clinic that they do not donate sperm at different clinics,” Gerrit-Jan KleinJan wrote. “The sperm donor you might be writing about made this settlement as effectively. Nevertheless, he donated at extra sperm banks leading to 102 infants.”
The court docket’s ruling got here after Mr. Meijer was sued by the Dutch Donor Child Foundation, which represents the pursuits of sperm donors’ kids, and a mom who had certainly one of her kids. “The kids deserve a relaxation,” the mom, who glided by Eva however omitted her final identify, mentioned in a press release on Friday.
Citing adverse psychological penalties for the kids, the court docket mentioned that barring Mr. Meijer from persevering with to donate was within the kids’s greatest curiosity. It could be tough for them to domesticate relationships with so many organic half-siblings, and it provides to the next likelihood of incest, the court docket mentioned.
In the Netherlands, Mr. Meijer donated sperm to at the very least 11 fertility clinics, in accordance with court docket paperwork. Each of these clinics permits his sperm to provide 25 kids or be donated to a most of 12 moms, as is the rule within the Netherlands. Mr. Meijer additionally lied to the clinics, in accordance with court docket information, telling every clinic that he hadn’t donated elsewhere and wasn’t planning on doing so sooner or later.
A report from 2017 concluded that Mr. Meijer had fathered 102 kids via Dutch clinics between 2007 and 2017. Between 2015 and 2018, he additionally donated sperm to a fertility clinic in Denmark that, on the time, didn’t place a restrict on the variety of kids produced from donated sperm and that despatched semen to folks in different international locations.
In addition to his scientific donations, Mr. Meijer additionally provided his sperm on numerous social media platforms within the Netherlands and overseas. According to the court docket, Mr. Meijer retains in contact with a number of dad and mom.
The Dutch Donor Child Foundation — which posted a picture of two clinking champagne glasses on Twitter in celebration of the decision with the phrases “essential step ahead!” — supported the ruling. “We’re completely satisfied that the decide dominated that it is not a good suggestion to have numerous half-siblings,” Ester de Lau, a board member, mentioned.
Dutch lawmakers are within the strategy of implementing new guidelines for sperm donors to guard the pursuits of kids. The Dutch House of Representatives debated the difficulty this month.
“In the Netherlands, we expect it is essential that everybody has information about their lineage,” in accordance with Ernst Kuipers, the minister of well being, welfare and sport. It has been potential for donor kids to request such data since 2004. But the federal government needs to ascertain a central registry that will present whether or not a sperm donor has donated to a number of clinics.
“The new guidelines would discourage undesirable conditions by which sperm donors generally father a whole bunch of kids,” in accordance with the proposed invoice.
Ms. de Lau mentioned she supported the invoice, however that it wanted to go additional to make sure that donor kids might additionally lookup any potential non-public donations and donations overseas. “The registry can begin within the Netherlands, however must be worldwide,” she mentioned. “This is not one thing that’s restricted to the Netherlands.”
Rules surrounding sperm donation fluctuate throughout Europe. In Belgium, the well being minister introduced the same registry after it grew to become clear that Mr. Meijer had additionally been energetic there.
Richard van der Zwan, Mr. Meijer’s lawyer informed the court docket that his shopper needed to assist dad and mom who had bother conceiving, The Associated Press reported. Mr. van der Zwan couldn’t instantly be reached for touch upon Friday.
Mr. Meijer mentioned he was not performing selfishly and that his continued sperm donations wouldn’t negatively have an effect on any subsequent kids, the court docket mentioned. But the court docket dominated that the pursuits of the kids and different dad and mom outweighed these of Mr. Meijer’s to proceed to supply itself as a donor.