Court Orders Man to Stop After He Reportedly Fathered 550 Kids

Court Orders Man to Stop After He Reportedly Fathered 550 Kids
Cover Image Source: (L) and (R) Getty Images | Christopher Furlong

A Dutch sperm donor "reportedly" breached the nation's guidelines of fathering not more than 25 children in 12 families. Apparently, the man identified as Jonathan M is a father of 550 children to date, and the court has now ordered him to stop donating, or they will take action against him. 

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The 41-year-old father has faced legal notices before. He was banned from donating to fertility clinics in the Netherlands in 2017 after he emerged to have fathered more than 100 children. But instead of stopping, he kept donating his semen abroad and online. This time, however, the rules imposed on him are stricter. 

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The Dutch judges have found him guilty under the latest fertility scandal and demanded a fine of more than €100,000 (£88,000) if he tries to donate again. The court has also asked him to provide information on the clinics he has used and wants them to destroy his sperm. 

An organization that protects the rights of donor children had dragged him to the court, along with the mother of one child "allegedly" fathered from his sperm. The scandal shook the Netherlands as Jonathan had helped produce between 550 and 600 children since he started donating sperm in 2007. He has misled hundreds of women into the scam.

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The Dutch clinical guidelines are strict and ask to limit the number of times they offer their services. It is because if the kids do not know who their siblings are, there are chances they will form a couple and bear children together. A spokesperson for the court, Gert-Mark Smelt, said, "The point is that this kinship network with hundreds of half-brothers and half-sisters is much too large."

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The threat was high because the man donated to Dutch clinics and was sent out privately. He also targeted a Danish clinic that dispatched his semen to various countries. Therefore, on Friday, April 28, 2023, the Dutch court judge, Thera Hesselink, "prohibited the defendant from donating his semen to new prospective parents after issuing this judgment." 

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The court's judgment gave respite to many women. A mother of one child, identified as only "Eva," showed gratitude that the court imposed strict charges on "mass donations that [have] spread like wildfire to other countries." 



 

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The judge said, "Jonathan is not permitted to contact any prospective parents with the wish that he was willing to donate semen, advertise his services to prospective parents or join any organization that establishes contact between prospective parents."

"The donor deliberately misinformed prospective parents about the number of children had fathered in the past," said district court in The Hague. The court considered this "sufficiently plausible" to have negative psychosocial consequences for the children. This included psychological problems around identity and fears of incest.

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In the history of court cases, no judge had ever passed a ruling on such a case. Mark de Hek, one of the lawyers said, "It is the first time that a judge has ruled on such a case and it is encouraging to see this behaviour immediately dealt with." 

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 Court Orders Man to Stop After He Reportedly Fathered 550 Kids