A prolific sperm donor from the Netherlands who is said to have fathered over 500 children worldwide is now facing a lawsuit over the potential increased risk of accidental incest.
“If I had known that he had already fathered more than a hundred children, I would never have chosen this donor,” Eva, a mother who helped initiate the lawsuit, said in the press release. “When I think about the consequences that this could have for my child, I get a bad feeling in my gut and I am unsure about his future: how many more children will there be?”
“In conversations with the donor, many mothers have suggested that he should stop, but nothing helps,” she added. “Going to court is the only way to protect my child.”
The DonorKind Foundation, a Dutch organization that defends the rights of donor children, filed a lawsuit against Jonathan Jacob Meijer, 41, claiming he lied about the number of children he fathered through sperm donation.
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Meijer is accused of acting unlawfully after misleading clinics about the extent of his activities and “endangering” his children’s mental well-being alongside increasing the risk of incest or inbreeding.
According to a DonorKind press release, the guidelines limit an individual to 25 offspring, or 12 wives, to prevent potential incest problems. A mother claims he admitted to her that he may have fathered as many as 500 children.
When he met Eva, a mother who chose him as a donor in 2018, he reportedly told her he would stop at the legal limit if he reached her. She later learned that he had reached that limit long before he met her.
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Meijer may have fathered up to 102 children in the Netherlands, prompting officials to blacklist him from further donations in 2017. He now lives in Kenya and has continued to give in other countries including Denmark and Ukraine.
DonorKind has filed the lawsuit against Meijer on behalf of 25 families who want to stop him from donating more seeds, which he allegedly did using various pseudonyms, the Times of London reported.
The foundation said Meijer “doesn’t want to stop his behavior” and continues to meet with new parents.
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“At the Donorkind Foundation, we think it’s important for people to realize that conceiving a donor makes them family in a way,” the organization’s press release said. “This means that both parents and donors consider the interests and rights of the donor children.”
“Unfortunately, there is no such thing with this man, which means that we as a foundation have to work for the interests of the donor children, who cannot do it themselves.”
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The Dutch Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology asked all sperm banks and clinics to stop using Meijer’s samples after he was blacklisted in 2017, but he continued to offer his sperm “under the counter”, according to EuroNews.
“The donor has prioritized his reproductive needs and his behavior poses a threat to the mental and physical well-being of the donor children,” said Mark de Hek, attorney for the foundation.
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