A person who has fathered between 550 and 600 youngsters over the previous 16 years shouldn’t be allowed to donate any extra sperm to potential mother and father, a courtroom within the Netherlands dominated on Friday.
According to The Hague District Court, the person lied concerning the variety of youngsters he had already fathered, the variety of sperm donations he had made and his intention to donate much more sperm.
“All these parents 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 courtroom stated.
Because of Dutch privateness legal guidelines, the federal government has not publicly named the person, Jonathan Jacob Meijer, 41, within the courtroom proceedings because the donor in query. However, in an e-mail to The New York Times for a 2021 article about him, a spokesman for the well being ministry confirmed his id. “Donors must sign an agreement with their clinic that they don’t donate sperm at other clinics,” Gerrit-Jan KleinJan wrote. “The sperm donor you are writing about made this agreement as well. Nevertheless, he donated at more sperm banks resulting in 102 babies.”
The courtroom’s ruling got here after Mr. Meijer was sued by the Dutch Donor Child Foundation, which represents the pursuits of sperm donors’ youngsters, and a mom who had one in every of his youngsters. “The children deserve a rest,” the mom, who glided by Eva however omitted her final title, stated in a press release on Friday.
Citing unfavorable psychological penalties for the youngsters, the courtroom stated that barring Mr. Meijer from persevering with to donate was within the youngsters’s finest curiosity. It could be onerous for them to domesticate relationships with so many organic half siblings, and it provides to a better likelihood of incest, the courtroom stated.
In the Netherlands, Mr. Meijer donated sperm to no less than 11 fertility clinics, in line with courtroom paperwork. Each of these clinics permits his sperm to supply 25 youngsters or be donated to a most of 12 moms, as is the rule within the Netherlands. Mr. Meijer additionally lied to the clinics, in line with courtroom data, 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 youngsters by means of 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 youngsters produced from donated sperm and that despatched semen to individuals in different nations.
In addition to his clinic donations, Mr. Meijer additionally provided his sperm on varied social media platforms within the Netherlands and overseas. According to the courtroom, Mr. Meijer retains in contact with a number of mother and father.
The Dutch Donor Child Foundation — which posted an image of two clinking champagne glasses on Twitter in celebration of the decision with the phrases “important step forward!” — supported the ruling. “We’re happy that the judge ruled that it’s not a good idea to have countless half-siblings,” Ester de Lau, a board member, stated.
Dutch lawmakers are within the strategy of implementing new guidelines for sperm donors to guard the pursuits of the youngsters. The Dutch House of Representatives debated the problem this month.
“In the Netherlands, we think it’s important that everyone has facts about their lineage,” in line with Ernst Kuipers, the minister of well being, welfare and sport. It has been doable for donor youngsters 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 rules would discourage undesirable situations in which sperm donors sometimes father hundreds of children,” in line with the proposed invoice.
Ms. de Lau stated she supported the invoice, however that it wanted to go additional to make sure that donor youngsters might additionally lookup any doable non-public donations and donations overseas. “The registry can start in the Netherlands, but needs to be international,” she stated. “This isn’t something that is limited to the Netherlands.”
Rules surrounding sperm donation range throughout Europe. In Belgium, the well being minister introduced an analogous registry after it turned clear that Mr. Meijer had additionally been lively there.
Richard van der Zwan, Mr. Meijer’s lawyer, instructed the courtroom that his shopper wished to assist mother and father who had bother conceiving, The Associated Press reported. Mr. van der Zwan couldn’t instantly be reached for touch upon Friday.
Mr. Meijer stated he was not appearing selfishly and that his continued sperm donations wouldn’t negatively have an effect on any subsequent youngsters, the courtroom stated. But the courtroom dominated that the pursuits of the youngsters and different mother and father outweighed these of Mr. Meijer’s to proceed to supply himself as a donor.