A person who has fathered between 550 and 600 youngsters over the previous 16 years is just not 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 in regards to 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 dad and mom at the moment are confronted with the truth that the kids of their household are a part of an enormous kinship community, with tons of of half siblings, which they didn’t select,” the court docket stated.
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 id. “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 properly. 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’ youngsters, and a mom who had one among her youngsters. “The youngsters deserve a relaxation,” the mom, who glided by Eva however omitted her final identify, stated in an announcement on Friday.
Citing unfavorable psychological penalties for the kids, the court docket stated that barring Mr. Meijer from persevering with to donate was within the youngsters’s greatest curiosity. It can be laborious for them to domesticate relationships with so many organic half siblings, and it provides to a better probability of incest, the court docket stated.
In the Netherlands, Mr. Meijer donated sperm to not less than 11 fertility clinics, in keeping with court docket 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 keeping 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 youngsters by way 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 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 “vital step ahead!” — supported the ruling. “We’re pleased that the choose dominated that it isn’t a good suggestion to have numerous half-siblings,” Ester de Lau, a board member, stated.
Dutch lawmakers are within the means of implementing new guidelines for sperm donors to guard the pursuits of the kids. The Dutch House of Representatives debated the problem this month.
“In the Netherlands, we expect it is vital that everybody has information about their lineage,” in keeping 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 desires to ascertain a central registry that might present whether or not a sperm donor has donated to a number of clinics.
“The new guidelines would discourage undesirable conditions through which sperm donors typically father tons of of kids,” in keeping 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 search for any doable personal donations and donations overseas. “The registry can begin within the Netherlands, however must be worldwide,” she stated. “This is not one thing that’s restricted 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 court docket that his consumer wished 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 stated he was not performing selfishly and that his continued sperm donations wouldn’t negatively have an effect on any subsequent youngsters, the court docket stated. 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.