Talk about semen-ly producing way too many children. According to de Telegraaf newspaper, a Dutch court has ordered a 41-year-old man to immediately lose interest in donating any more to sperm banks. Otherwise, the next time this man tries make such a deposit, he could face a drain on his real bank account—a fine of 100,000 Euros, which is approximately $110,000 U.S. Now, such a fine may rub most people the wrong way. But this sperm donor is not like most people in that he has apparently fathered somewhere between 500 and 600 children around the world.
Oh, brother, might be your reaction to hearing that one man has so many progeny. But it’s actually, oh brothers and sisters. With so many descendants of the man running around in different places, the concern is that such genetically-related descendants may end up accidentally and unknowingly hooking up with each other. Imagine whenever you get together with someone new, having to ask, “Who’s your Daddy? No, really, who is your Daddy?” That doesn’t exactly scream romance. In fact, knowing that so many of your biological father’s swimmers have been out there could leave you swimming in the fear of inbreeding. This is why a foundation representing the many, many, many families who had already used this donor’s sperm brought a civil case against the man to get him to cease and desist sharing his sperm. And this recent court ruling against the man came as the result of this civil case.
Emily McGarvey reporting for the BBC News quoted Judge Thera Hesselink saying that the court “prohibits the defendant from donating his semen to new prospective parents after the issuing of this judgment.” So, you could say that there is now judgement as to what Meijer does with his sperm. The judge added that the man can’t “advertise his services to prospective parents or join any organization that establishes contact between prospective parents.”
By the way, this wasn’t the man’s first time around the block—meaning that this wasn’t the first time that folks had tried to block the man from donating his sperm. In 2017, he was banned from offering his swimmers to Dutch fertility clinics, after his donations had already led to some real ova achieving, resulting in over 100 children. This may have in theory kept him from going Dutch, so to speak. However, he continued with his dissemination to other parts of the world. He kept listing himself as a donor on different international databases such as the one maintained by Cryos, the Danish sperm bank that’s the largest in the world. In fact, he even used a different name when offering donations.
This time around there’s a real vas deferens in what this man is being ordered by the court to do. Not only must he stop donating, he’s got to help get rid of what he’s already given. He must write to all clinics that he’s donated to and ask them to destroy any semen supplies of his that they may still have around. The only exceptions are the supplies held for parents who have previously had children via his sperm.
According to McGarvey, the district court in The Hague indicated that the man had “deliberately misinformed” prospective parents about how many children he had fathered. In other words, prospective parents were in the dark that he could fill a movie theater with the number of progeny that he has had. Yeah, typically when you realize that the potential donor might need to use an abacus to count the number of kids that he’s fathered, you might be a bit hesitant to go with that person as a donor.