Court Orders 'Serial Sperm Donor' to Close Up Shop

Jonathan Jacob Meijer barred by Dutch court from offering his samples to any other potential parents
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2023 9:05 AM CDT
Updated Apr 29, 2023 9:30 AM CDT
UPDATE Apr 29, 2023 9:30 AM CDT

It's time for the man who may be the Netherlands' most prolific sperm donor to pack it in. So said The Hague District Court on Friday in barring "Jonathan M."—previously IDed as Jonathan Jacob Meijer—from donating any more of his samples to prospective parents, reports the New York Times. The court cited the fact that Meijer had lied about how many children he'd already fathered (550 or so), as well as his number of sperm donations and plans for future ones, in making its ruling. The Dutch Donor Child Foundation, which reps sperm donor children and a mom who had one of them, celebrated on Twitter. "We're happy that the judge ruled that it's not a good idea to have countless half-siblings," one board member said, per the Times. The mother, IDed as Eva, said, per the AP: "I hope that this ruling leads to a ban on mass donation and spreads like an oil slick to other countries."

Mar 29, 2023 9:05 AM CDT

With a dozen kids to his name, prolific dad Nick Cannon probably wouldn't make headlines in the Netherlands these days—because that nation has Jonathan Jacob Meijer, a "serial sperm donor" now facing legal issues for the 550 or so children he's reportedly fathered, reports Vice. Meijer, a 41-year-old musician from The Hague who now lives in Kenya, is facing a civil suit from one of the many women who bore his children, as well as from Donorkind, a Dutch group for kids conceived via sperm donations. The complaint's goal: to bar Meijer from donating any more sperm, as there's a concern the excessive donations could up the risk of accidental incest and inbreeding, as well as psychological distress, among his progeny down the line.

According to Dutch guidelines, sperm donors aren't allowed to father more than 25 children or impregnate more than a dozen women, per Insider. In a statement, Donorkind accuses Meijer of donating sperm to 13 clinics around the Netherlands, as well as using an alias to search for prospective parents on social media and lying about the number of children he's fathered. "If I had known that he had already fathered more than a hundred children, I would never have chosen this donor," says Eva, the mother suing Meijer, whom she says had vowed to not father more than 25 kids. DutchNews.nl, which describes Meijer as an "obsessive sperm donor," reports that a warning was first sent out about him in 2017 by the Dutch Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

A 2021 profile in the New York Times entitled "The Case of the Serial Sperm Donor" led to Meijer being placed on a Dutch donation blacklist, but he continued to donate his sperm elsewhere overseas, including in Ukraine and Denmark, per the Telegraph. The suit wants him banned from future donations, as well as to find all the clinics that have accepted his donations so the samples can be destroyed—unless a woman who already has had a child by him wishes to produce a genetic sibling. "This behavior is dangerous for the mental well-being and health of donor children," Donorkind attorney Mark de Hek notes in the group's statement. Meijer—who has a YouTube channel on which he opines about such subjects as drinking raw milk, refusing to eat "fake meat," and the overpopulation "myth"—hasn't yet commented. (Read more sperm donors stories.)

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