He is prepared to no longer advertise as a sperm donor, but if people approach him with a desire to have children, he wants the freedom to say ‘yes’ to that. Jonathan M. said this today in court in The Hague.
The 41-year-old “mass sperm donor” was the subject of summary proceedings brought by Stichting Donorkind and a mother who had a child from him. They demand that M. immediately stop donating sperm to new prospective parents. He says he now has about 550 children.
The Donorkind Foundation and the mother also want an overview of all clinics where M. has donated worldwide. The sperm of M. that is still stored here should be destroyed as far as they are concerned, except for the sperm that has already been reserved for parents.
Symbol on TikTok
In the Netherlands, a donor may use his sperm to father a maximum of 25 children with a maximum of 12 mothers. In this way, half-siblings without knowing that they are related should be prevented from entering into relationships with each other. If they have children together, there is a greater risk of hereditary defects.
But the guidelines are easy to circumvent because Dutch fertility clinics do not share the registration with each other. Moreover, there is no prospect of private arrangements between mothers and donors, nor of foreign clinics. The House of Representatives therefore debated yesterday about a national database of sperm donors.
According to the mother who initiated summary proceedings, M. had promised her that he would not have more than 25 children. She discovered in 2019 through a publication in the AD that he already had many more children. M. admitted in court today that he lied about the number of children. But he did everything to help parents with a child wish, according to his lawyer Richard van der Zwan.
Van der Zwan also argued that the risk of inbreeding in children of known donors, such as M., is smaller than in children of anonymous donors. “Certainly due to digitization: children can choose a symbol on social media with which they indicate that they are the child of a donor.”
“But that is not the responsibility of the children,” responded lawyer Mark de Hek on behalf of the Donor Child Foundation and the mother. According to him, the children are also “restricted in their sexual freedom” in this way.
Family with 550 children
The fact that M. has many more than 25 children is not only biologically dangerous, De Hek said. “The kids are dealing with emotional issues.” For example, it’s virtually impossible to get to know all the half-siblings, he said.
When asked by the judge how M. envisions a family with 550 children, he responded: “It is a new concept, and it is up to us to shape it. The question is also: is it necessary to relationship with all the other children?”
“I felt the pain in the room at those words,” said lawyer Marjolein van Rest about the term “new concept”. Like De Hek, she spoke on behalf of the foundation and the mother. “For them, it feels like they’ve gotten into a weird social experiment.”
According to his lawyer, M. has good contact with many parents and children. For example, he would have been present at deliveries, communions and group 8 musicals, and receive crafts from some children. The supporters of Stichting Donorkind are therefore not representative of all parents to whom M. donated, stated Van der Zwan.
‘Sword of Damocles’
According to Van der Zwan, a sperm donor ban is not necessary because M. already donates a lot less than about five years ago. After the AD published about him in 2019, he was removed from Dutch donor sites. M. says he is no longer active on foreign platforms either. “There could still be a profile somewhere, but I no longer actively approach people.”
M. does, however, still respond to requests from mothers who have had a child from him before, and who want a second, third or fourth child, and from new women who approach him themselves and have no problems with the large number of children he has. already has.
And he wants to continue that. “I want to keep that freedom. I don’t want it to be subject to a penalty, like a sword of Damocles over my head.”
But as far as the Donor Child Foundation and the mother are concerned, it is now “really more than enough”, and M. must stop donating to new prospective parents. An attempt by the judge to get both parties to come to an agreement therefore failed.
The verdict in summary proceedings will follow on April 28.
Joyce fell victim to serial donor Jonathan M. Her two children have hundreds of half-siblings:
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