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Sperm donor Jonathan Jacob Meijer says Netflix documentary is misleading

Meijer was banned from donating sperm in the Netherlands in 2017, external after it emerged he was the father of 102 children, born from donations made to 11 clinics around the country.

He continued donating in other countries until 2023, when one woman and a foundation supporting her filed a civil suit against Meijer, arguing he was increasing the risk of incest for his children.

In his testimony, Meijer admitted having between 550 and 600 children. However, the court said he may have fathered up to 1,000 across several continents.

The judge ultimately banned Meijer from donating sperm to new parents, and said he would be fined 100,000 euros (£85,000) per donation if he did so.

Meijer told Woman’s Hour: “I already stopped donating for new recipients in 2019. I only donated for siblings. The court case was basically useless because I already stopped, and the court case did not prohibit me to help existing families.”

Asked if he saw any problem with his actions, Meijer said: “I see absolutely nothing wrong with it. I think it’s very good. I see that they [the children] have many friends, they meet with each other.

“And I cannot speak for them, but from what I’ve seen, they are very happy that they have so many siblings. Because they [the half-siblings] meet on donor days, they meet with each other and go on holiday together.”

Discussing his reasons for becoming a sperm donor, Meijer said: “The misconception is I had some sort of plan. Basically I was in college and there was a friend of mine who was infertile.

“It had a big impact on me, because I saw the effect that it had on his life. So I started to be interested… and I started to think, could I be a donor?”

When McGovern asked if Meijer understood the way the women felt, he said: “Why should they be uncomfortable? It’s what they chose.

“If you want exclusivity, you go to the clinic, you pay 10,000 euros and then your donor is exclusive. If you don’t want to share as a mother, why did you choose this path?”

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