Serial sperm donor who fathered 550 children sued over incest concerns

Jonathan Jacob Meijer is a Dutch musician and YouTuber

Jonathan Jacob Meijer

A serial sperm donor who has fathered 550 children is being sued amid accusations his prolific donation increases the risk of accidental incest.

The Netherlands’ Donorkind Foundation is taking Jonathan Jacob Meijer, a 41-year-old musician and YouTuber from The Hague, to court to stop him donating sperm, and accuses him of lying about the number of children he has fathered.

Dutch guidelines say donors should donate a maximum of 25 children or to 12 women to prevent inbreeding, incest or psychological problems.

Donorkind’s civil case is being brought with a Dutch woman named only as Eva, who had a child using Mr Meijer’s sperm in 2018.

“If I had known he had already fathered more than 100 children, I would never have chosen him,” she said. “If I think about the consequences for my child, I am sick to my stomach.”

Donorkind wants the court to order Mr Meijer to stop donating and to find out which clinics he has donated to. It also wants his stored sperm destroyed unless it is reserved for a woman who already has one of his children.

“We are taking action against this man because the government is doing nothing,” said Ties van der Meer, the Donorkind chairman. “He has a global reach via the internet and does business with large, international sperm banks.”

Mr Meijer is on a Dutch donation blacklist but has continued to donate abroad, including in Denmark and Ukraine, Donorkind said.

He has also approached prospective parents looking for home insemination online and on social media.

He advertised himself as a “blond musical Viking donor”

Mr Meijer, who now lives in Kenya, sometimes used the alias Ruud when offering to be a sperm donor, the AD newspaper said.

Donorkind said Mr Meijer had broken agreements with clinics and parents after promising to stick to the limit of 25 babies.

Exceeding the limit increases the risk of incest and inbreeding, as well as posing a risk to children’s mental health, it added, because they find it difficult to cope if their biological father has created so many children.

It is not yet clear when the case will be heard but further details are expected in the coming days.

The Dutch gynaecologists’ association NVOG raised the alarm about Mr Meijer in 2017 after it emerged he had fathered at least 102 children through 10 different clinics in the Netherlands.​

In 2021, Mr Meijer told The New York Times he had about 250 donor children. The article revealed he advertised himself as a “blond musical Viking donor”.

He said then: “Assumptions of 1,000 [children] are ridiculous. I became a donor not for any numbers – to help parents with realising their dream.”

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