Amid all the legitimate concerns surrounding the fertility and surrogacy industries, here’s a new one to add to the growing pile.
A Dutch sperm donor who’s reportedly fathered more than 500 children is facing a lawsuit from his donor-babies’ families who now say they’re worried about “accidental incest.”
Yep. Jonathan Jacob Meijer, a 41-year-old musician from The Netherlands, has reportedly fathered some 550 kids through sperm donations he made to at least 13 clinics, according to the lawsuit. That’s just a bit in excess of the current limit, according to a Dutch law that says sperm donors can’t father more than 25 children or impregnate more than 12 women using their…er…contributions. (Side note: the U.S. doesn’t have any laws regarding how many children a sperm donor can father - isn’t that nice?)
Meijer, who now lives in Kenya, was reportedly blacklisted from The Netherlands’ sperm donor registry several years ago after his reportedly "obsessive" donor habits were discovered, but the lawsuit says that hasn’t stopped him from donating to other banks around the world.
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Now, some of the parents of Meijer's biological children say they’re concerned that the sheer number of kids he's fathered throughout the country increases the chance that his offspring might end up hooking up with each other without realizing they’re technically related. The lawsuit, brought by the mother of one of Meijer’s donor babies, alleges he lied about how many children he’d fathered when she was going through the process of procuring his genetic materials. She’s now demanding the court ban Meijer from making more donations and order any banks still storing his…specimens…to destroy them.
Donorkind, a Dutch organization representing children born from sperm donors, said that men like Meijer are "dangerous for the mental well-being and health of donor children,” adding that not only does behavior like this increase the risk of unwitting incest, but that finding out you’re one of hundreds of biological siblings is psychologically difficult for kids.
Which, in all fairness, is probably something you should have thought about before using a random stranger’s sperm to create a child they’ll never know.