A court in the Netherlands on Friday banned a man from donating any more of his sperm after he was suspected of fathering more than 550 children. The man named Jonathan Jacob Meijer aged 41, could be fined more than 100,000 Euros (Rs 90,41,657) if he tries to donate again, BBCreported.
The shocking case came to the limelight after a foundation and the mother of one of the children filed a lawsuit against him in Hague. The judge who heard the civil case said the donor “misinformed prospective parents about the number of children he had already fathered in the past.”
“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 court prohibits the defendant from donating his semen to new prospective parents after the issuing of this judgement,” Judge Hesselink said in a ruling on Friday.
He has also been ordered not to contact any prospective parents “with the wish that he was willing to donate semen… advertise his services to prospective parents or join any organisation that establishes contact between prospective parents,” Mr Hesselink added,
Notably, Mr Meijer donated his sperm to at least 13 clinics, with 11 of them located in the Netherlands. According to Dutch clinical guidelines, sperm donors should not donate to more than 12 women or should not father over 25 children. This is to prevent cases of accidental breeding and psychological problems in children who may get disturbed after learning that they have hundreds of siblings.
However, he helped produce between 550 and 600 children since he started donating sperm in 2007. In 2017, he was banned from donating to fertility clinics in the Netherlands. Instead of stopping he carried on donating sperm abroad and online.
The mother of one of the children in the court case said she was grateful that the court had stopped the man from ”mass donations that [have] spread like wildfire to other countries”.
“I’m asking the donor to respect our interests and to accept the verdict because our children deserve to be left alone,” she said in an official statement.
However, the donor’s lawyer said in a court hearing that he wanted to help parents who would otherwise be unable to conceive. A musician by profession, Mr Meijer currently lives in Kenya.