A sperm bank director fathered 49 children by using his own sperm instead of the donors’

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DNA tests could only be performed after his death, but when compared to the DNA of the people concerned the families’ suspicions became reality.

Dr. Jan Karbaat has been cheating donors and families for years. This man, a doctor and director of a Dutch sperm bank, used his own sperm instead of donor sperm. He is today the biological father of 49 people, born by in vitro fertilization. The defense association, Defense for Children, announced in a statement Friday, April 12.

The first suspicions appeared in 2017. Families became suspicious when their children, born by in vitro fertilization, resemble very little their donor but much more to the director of the center, Jan Karbaat. He reportedly told one of the complainants, Moniek Wassenaar, in 2010 that he had sometimes used his own sperm. “He was healthy and smart, so he could share some of his genes with the world,” she told the Dutch press in 2017. “He saw that as something noble.”

The families then took legal action and asked the doctor to provide a DNA profile. The doctor refused to provide sample, and died within the year. One of the lawyers of the families reinforced the doubts by affirming that the man would have confessed before his death to have about sixty children.

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A month after his death, Dutch justice seized many of his belongings and had them analyzed to recover his DNA. The first results show that he is indeed the father of 19 children, while the legal limit allows only six children per donor. The former director managed to replace the donor sperm with his own by falsifying documents and tests.

His establishment had been administratively closed since 2009 after investigations by the Public Health Inspectorate. The authorities suspected him of having administrative irregularities.

Last February, a court decided to make available to families the DNA sample of Jan Karbaat. The result: the man has not 19, but 49 descendants. For Iara de Witte, a counselor in the Defense for Children organization, it’s a relief for families: “Now, after years of uncertainty, the plaintiffs can finally close this chapter and start digesting the fact that they are one of the many descendants of Karbaat”. According to a Dutch news agency, there may be new children discovered in the months and years to come.

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Shakes Gilles

Editor of The Talking Democrat. He enjoys bike riding, kayaking and playing soccer. On a slow weekend, you'll find him with a book by the lake.