A court in the Netherlands ruled Friday that a serial sperm donor who may have fathered over 500 children must stop donation immediately or faces a fine of nearly $110,000 if he gives again.
This week, a Dutch court heard the case of Jonathan Mr. Jacob Meijer, 41, who promised mothers who used his sperm that he would stop donating to reduce the risk of accidental incest but continued to do so. Eva (Last name withheld), a recipient of the sperm donor filed the complaint, claiming Meijer misled the women.
“In conversations with the sperm donor, many mothers have indicated that he should stop, but nothing helps,” Eva stated when she filed her lawsuit. “Going to court is the only way for me to protect my child.”
A judge has now ruled that Meijer, must immediately cease donating his sperm and contact every clinic where he has contributed and request that his samples be destroyed.
According to The Guardian, the court concluded that “the interests of the donor children and their parents outweigh the donor’s interest in continuing to donate sperm to new prospective parents” and imposed a $110,000 punishment if he violated the restriction.
The court’s decision was not taken lightly, as it thought it required to weigh “conflicting fundamental rights.”
“On the one hand, the right to respect for the privacy of the donor’s parents and donor children… and, on the other hand, the donor’s right.”
Meijer’s lawyer explained that his client merely wanted to assist parents who couldn’t conceive on their own.
However, the judge who heard the case stated that Meijer had violated Dutch law, which allows a sperm donor to have a maximum of 25 children with a maximum of 12 mothers. Meijer “deliberately lied” about his donation history to potential parents.
“All of 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 noted, emphasizing the children’s possible negative psychosocial implications.
“It is therefore in their best interests that this kinship network not be extended any further,” the court added.
Eva applauded the decision, adding she hoped it would lead to a ban on mass donation from a sperm donor in other countries.
“We must stand shoulder to shoulder around our children to protect them from this injustice,” she stated in a statement.
When Meijer met Eva, who picked him as a donor in 2018, he allegedly assured her he would stop when he reached the legal limit. He had reached that limit long before he met her, she subsequently discovered.
Meijer may have fathered up to 102 children in the Netherlands, prompting officials to bar him from receiving any additional donations in 2017.
Meijer the sperm donor may have fathered up to 102 children in the Netherlands, prompting officials to bar him from receiving any additional donations in 2017. He continued to donate in other countries, including Denmark and Ukraine, despite the fact that he was now residing in Kenya.
After his blacklisting in 2017, the Dutch Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology asked all sperm banks and clinics to stop utilizing Meijer’s samples, but he continued to give his sperm “under the counter,” according to The Guardian.