August 20, 2017

Donor fathers 102 children, national failure

Filed under: Science by Orangemaster @ 9:19 pm

A few months back there was the doctor who bragged about using his own sperm to inseminate his patients, and now one overzealous sperm donor has been caught fathering 102 children, exceeding the limit of 25.

Problem is, the amount children that can be produced from one sperm donor is limited to 25 at one clinic, but this guy went around to several clinics and kept on donating. For 10 years, the man donated all over the country, producing a total of 102 children. Lucky him, one clinic even bent the rules from 25 to 35 children and then there’s whatever he donated through the Internet.

Another man was also caught producing more children than legally allowed, with sperm donated through the Internet. For now the sperm of both men won’t be used anymore. There’s nothing being said about fertility clinics being more vigilant to stop donors exceeding the limit, which also includes egg donors. At present, clinics can’t share information for privacy reasons, although authorities had tired to set up some sort of database.

File this one under ‘epic fail’.


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May 17, 2017

‘Dutch fertility doctor bragged about using his sperm’

Filed under: Health,Science by Orangemaster @ 10:52 am

In what sounds like a storyline straight out of an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Moniek Wassenaar is confronting the widow of recently deceased fertility doctor Jan Karbaat who bragged about using his own sperm to inseminate his patients.

Together with 22 other donor children and parents Wassenaar is going to court to get answers and to try and find out if Dr Karbaat is their father or fathered their children. In the 1980 and 1990s, Karbaat’s Bijdorp clinic was the one of the biggest in the country, with an excellent reputation and attending to thousands of patients.

Some mothers say that Karbaat had told them to wait while he went to get ‘fresh sperm’ in the room next door, anonymous tips have come in over the years and there’s also children that look a lot like their alleged father walking around. Dr Karbaat even told Wassenaar over tea at his house once that he fathered 60 children, an encounter Mrs Karbaat claims not to remember.

The plaintiffs are trying to get Karbaat’s body exhumed to extract DNA and perform testing to get clarity. Karbaat’s window seems to be fighting this request, denying the entire situation. Mrs Karbaat’s defense lawyer is saying that the children have no right to know who their father is because they are the result of a sperm donation, which to me would mean anyone with criminal intent could get away with this sort of practice without ever being accountable and that can’t be legal. On the other hand, we told you in 2013 about local governments pressuring single mothers to reveal the name of the fathers of their children for alimony purposes, including fathers who were sperm donors, which sounds like a double standard on the face of it.


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August 11, 2013

Open season on sperm donors in the Netherlands

Filed under: Health by Branko Collin @ 1:19 pm

City governments are pressuring single mothers to reveal the name of the fathers of their children, so that they can then force said fathers into paying some sort of alimony, Dutchnews reported last Friday.

Apparently a man from Rotterdam, Eric van Deurzen, was ordered by a court to pay either the city or the mother 486 euro a month. (If I am being vague it’s because my sources are.) Volkskrant quotes two law professors, Paul Vlaardingerbroek and AndrĂ© Nuytinck, as saying that only the mother can bring suit.

Professor Nuytinck told Gelderlander that this also puts certain kinds of sperm donors in a tough situation: “Sperm donors who haven’t gone through a sperm bank may have difficulty proving that they did not conceive the child. For conception [as a legal term–Branko] there needs to have been intercourse.”

Since everybody is being so incredibly vague I had to do my own homework here.

Title 17 of Book 1 of the Dutch Civil Code (Burgerlijk Wetboek) states that “he who conceives a child that only has a mother […] is obliged to contribute to the cost of rearing and caring for the child until it reaches the age of majority […].” Although the law does differentiate between a father, a conceiver (verwekker) and a donor, it does not state that there is a difference between a donor and a conceiver when it comes to financial responsibility for raising a child.

Several websites and professor Nuytinck do make that distinction though, which leads me to believe that there must be a separate, more specific law detailing the rights and responsibilities of sperm donors somewhere. Not all the cost of artificial insemination are covered by basic health insurance and in 2010, a lesbian couple was refused treatment by a hospital in Leiden.

The law I quoted above seems to have especially dire consequences for gay couples. The partner who is not the parent only has rights if they’ve gone through official, sometimes homophobic channels and the donor has expressed the wish to remain pseudo-anonymous (in the Netherlands a child always has the right to know its father once it turns 16).

It is still not clear to me why a municipal government would have standing in a case where they ask for the determination of fatherhood.

(Photo by Gniliep, some rights reserved)

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