A 41-year-old Dutch sperm donor, Jonathan M., has been sued by the Dutch Donorkind Foundation, which facilitates the reunion of sons and brothers born through this practice.
The organization attributes to him the paternity of at least 550 children in the Netherlands and in other countries - he has also donated in Spain - and asks the judges to apply precautionary measures to prevent him from doing more.
He also requests the destruction of his semen samples that are stored, and to keep only those reserved for women who have had a child of his and wish to give him a genetic brother.
It is the first time that a requirement of this kind has been presented in the Netherlands, which sets a maximum of 25 offspring for donors in fertility treatments.
Jonathan M. appeared on a blacklist in his country, and in 2017,
the Association of Gynecologists and Obstetricians warned that she already had 102 children with the mediation of 11 clinics.
He then chose to offer his services through the internet and abroad.
The maximum number of 25 children per sperm donor is stipulated for two reasons: to avoid involuntary incest in adulthood, and to preserve their mental health given the possibility of having so many siblings from different families, with whom it would be impossible. strengthen ties.
Mark de Hek, Donorkind's lawyer, stressed in a statement that the donor's actions "is illegal because he puts his procreative desire first."
He violates, in turn, according to the lawyer, "the agreements with the clinics and the future parents, who trusted that he would only have a maximum of 25 children."
Dutch artificial fertilization clinics are financed through the official health insurance that all citizens must have.
They can be private or form part of public hospitals and university hospitals, and they pay between 10 and 20 euros for each donation.
They are legally obliged to record the information related to egg, semen and embryo donations in a national registry, and make it available to children, parents and family doctors.
Since 2004, children who wish have the right to request this data from the age of 16.
Parliament is now analyzing a bill that sets the maximum number of families ―inside and outside the Netherlands― with which the same donor can collaborate at 12.
The problem is that the clinics in the sector do not share their data with each other,
and the lack of communication facilitated the relationship between Jonathan M. and a dozen organizations without raising suspicions.
When he was discovered in his country in 2017, he opened up to acting on a global scale and through addresses such as CoParent Match, Cyros, PrideAngel, Onewish, Kinderwunsch and Spendesperma, according to the Dutch newspaper.
Eva has joined the current lawsuit (this is how she is presented on the Donorkind website), a mother who in 2018 had a baby with the help of this subject's semen.
The foundation has been active since 2007, and its managers emphasize that parents and donors "must prioritize the rights and well-being of children, something that this man has not done."
Eva takes advantage of the statement published on the web to explain why she is suing him: "If she had known that he already had more than 100 children, she would never have chosen him," she says.
“When I think about the consequences of all this for mine, I get sick: how many more will end up being added?
The only way to get it to stop is to take it to court.”
The New York Times
he dedicated a profile to him transcribing his full name.
Not so the Dutch press, which preserves his anonymity.
Ties van der Meer, president of Donorkind, points out that the donor himself, "resident in The Hague, calculates that 550 is the number of children he can have, and has also gone abroad in person, to countries like Spain."
On the phone, he adds that in 2017 they received multiple calls from mothers who once located Jonathan M. through the internet.
"There were mothers from other countries in the world, so he would lie about the number of his children when he talked to them."
On the other hand, he asserts that "the calculation of 550 children is without counting international clinics, Internet sites or anonymous donations."
"It seems unethical to us that the anonymity of the donor is maintained, and that they can also operate abroad."
And he adds: “We must remember that many Dutch doctors prefer that the donor be anonymous.
despite the national registration [to which they are obliged], it is still difficult to know how many children each of them has.
But this does not take into account the rights of children”.
In various conversations with potential recipients and mothers-to-be, Jonathan M. had confirmed that he planned to continue his activity, "and has recently spoken with more couples," according to Donorkind.
In 2022, Donorkind revealed that at least 10 Dutch fertility doctors had used their own semen to inseminate their patients without their consent.
The Jan Karbaat case became famous because he turned out to be the father of about 80 children.
He also had another dozen descendants from various sentimental couples.
Died in 2017 at the age of 89, he ran his clinic in Rotterdam for four decades.
When treatment failed, he used his own semen.
A colleague of his, Jan Wildschut, had no less than 34 children in the same way.
And the same did Jos Beek, a doctor with 21 descendants.
The Association of Gynecologists and Obstetricians condemned all the cases saying that "the relationship between the doctor and the patient is sacred, but here the trust placed in the specialist has been violated."