Dutch man who fathered at least 550 kids banned from donating sperm

The man, known as Jonathan M, was accused of deliberately lying to prospective parents (Picture: Shutterstock)

A court has banned the father of at least 550 children from donating any more sperm. 

The man, identified only as Jonathan M due to Dutch privacy laws, provided sperm to multiple fertility clinics in the Netherlands and Denmark, as well as people he met online, according to the Hague District Court. 

National guidelines in the Netherlands permit donors to father a maximum of 25 children with up to 12 mothers. 

Jonathan M’s lawyers said he only wanted to help parents who would not otherwise have been able to conceive, but a judge said on Friday he had ‘deliberately lied about this in order to persuade the parents to take him as a donor.’

The court also heard that the parents of the children Jonathan M fathered are ‘now confronted with the fact that the children in their family are part of a huge kinship network, with hundreds of half-siblings, which they did not choose”.

The judge added: ‘[This] has or could possibly have negative psychosocial consequences for the children.

‘It is therefore in their interest that this kinship network is not extended any further.’

Under Dutch guidelines, sperm donors are permitted to father a maximum of 25 children with no more than 12 mothers

The ban on Jonathan M donating more sperm had been sought by the mother of a child conceived with his help, as well as The Donor Child Foundation, a group working on behalf of other parents. 

Identified by the foundation only as Eva, the mother said: ‘I hope this ruling leads to a ban on mass donation and spreads like an oil slick to other countries.

‘We must stand hand in hand around our children and protect them against this injustice.’

If Jonathan M breaches the injunction against him donating more sperm, he may be liable for a fine of up to 100,000 euros (£88,115).

Lawyer Mark de Hek, of The Donor Child Foundation, described the result in court as a ‘clear signal and, as far as I am concerned, a final warning to other mass donors.’

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