A sperm donor in the Netherlands, linked to more than 550 children generated by sperm donation in at least 13 Dutch and foreign clinics, will be taken to court by one of the inseminated mothers and the Donorkind Foundation, which defends the interests of people born by this method.
The foundation itself has announced that it will start a lawsuit to try to stop the behavior of this 41-year-old Dutch donor, accused of deceiving women around the world, for having lied and minimized the number of times he had donated his sperm. Donorkind estimates that he has helped father more than 500 children.
The clinic’s guidelines require that each sperm donor be able to do so up to a maximum of 25 successful times or help 12 families in total. The aim is to prevent inbreeding, incest and psychological problems for people born by this method.
The reported donor in the Netherlands, however, delivered his sperm to at least 13 clinics in the Netherlands and abroad. According to Donorkind, “She also approaches prospective parents who are looking for a donor for her at-home insemination via social media and meeting platforms, and lies about the number of children she has had.”
The plaintiffs allege that this man “has demonstrated to mothers that he does not want to stop his behavior and has recently approached new future fathers”, so they asked the court to “prohibit him under sanction of further donations, that he was obliged not to contact new fathers-to-be and write to clinics to request destruction of their stored sperm.
Eva, the mother who is now filing a lawsuit in court against this matter, assures that he had promised not to father more than 25 children when she chose him as a donor in 2018.
“If I had known that he already had more than a hundred children, I would never have chosen him. When I think about the consequences this could have for my son, I have a bad body and uncertainty about his future: how many more children will there be? In conversations with the donor, many mothers have already asked him to stop, but nothing helped”, says the author.
His lawyer, Mark de Hek, warns that the donor is acting illegally “by putting his reproductive impulse first” and reminds him that “this behavior is dangerous for the mental well-being and health of children born by donation”.
“We consider it important that the people involved know how to become a family through a donor”, says the foundation in its statement. “This means that both parents and donors must take into account the interests and rights of children. Unfortunately, that’s not possible with this man.”
The Dutch association of gynecologists NVOG first warned about this man, a musician, in 2017, when it became known that he had fathered at least 102 children in the Netherlands through 10 different clinics.
The donor was blacklisted from Dutch clinics, but continued to donate in other countries such as Denmark and Ukraine.
It is not clear when the case will be heard in the Dutch court, but Donorkind hopes to have more details “in the coming weeks”.
In addition to this case, the foundation has already identified at least ten Dutch gynecologists who used their own semen without the knowledge of women who wanted to get pregnant in fertility clinics in the Netherlands.
At the same time, a record 1,415 people born by sperm donation sought genetic information about their biological father in 2021 after these scandals became public.