Woman sues serial sperm donor featured on Netflix docuseries, ‘The Man with 1000 Kids’

Netflix, sperm donor

Update 7/24/24: Jonathan Jacob Meijer, the man at the center of the Netflix documentary, “The Man with 1000 Kids,” has given his first full interview since the show began. In the interview, he said he has done nothing wrong and that he is simply misunderstood.

“Not that I regret helping anybody, but it was more — I don’t like to use the word ‘addiction’ — but you feel so rewarded, it’s absolutely wonderful,” he said of giving his sperm to hundreds of women despite telling them he was only giving his sperm to a handful of families.

“It’s a blessing, but I guess it got very hard to then just abruptly say: ‘Ok, I am this guy that is making all these people completely happy, but now I am going to stop,” he said. But he only stopped after the Dutch Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology banned him from giving more of his sperm when it learned he had 102 children in Holland alone. The Netherlands has also banned him in part based on the claim that he was increasing the risk of incest since his biological children would not know each other and would be about the same age.

“On Netflix they portray me as this crazy person, but I was very aware of the consequences of being an ‘open identity’ donor,'” he said.

7/8/24: Jonathan Jacob Meijer, 42, is facing a lawsuit from a woman who said he duped her into using his sperm to have a baby. The lawsuit comes after the woman, Eva, discovered that Meijer is a serial sperm donor who has fathered hundreds of children.

Meijer is estimated to have fathered as many as 600 to 1,000 children, and his story is the focus of a new Netflix docuseries, “The Man with 1000 Kids,” which premiered on July 3. Meijer is accused of defrauding parents and fertility clinics around the world. He is reported to have at least 80 children in Germany, 35 in Belgium, four in Argentina, two in Australia, and 375 children in the Netherlands, where Eva and her child live.

Eva took legal action against him because she states his actions have increased the risk of accidental incest among his children. She said it “made her feel sick to her stomach” when she learned of the large number of children he has fathered.

“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 this could have for my child I am sick to my stomach.”

She added, “Many mothers have told him he needs to stop, but nothing helps. So going to court is the only option I have to protect my child.” She wants his remaining sperm in storage to be destroyed.

READ: Fertility company lures buyers with promises of ‘exquisite’ and ‘remarkable’ egg donors

Meijer used fertility clinics, but also connected with women privately to give them his “fresh” sperm. After a civil case was filed against him by a foundation representing the children and parents who had used him as a donor, he was ordered to stop in April 2023 in the Netherlands. If he refused, he would face a fine of €100,000 each time he sold or gave away his sperm. The Dutch court said that Meijer’s actions violated the right to a private life for his children, whose ability to form romantic relationships is impeded by fears of accidental incest.

When asked why he wanted to father so many children, he said, “I want to do something meaningful with my life. Yes, I lied to the women. That was wrong. I wanted to help them.”

In light of the Netflix docuseries, which he called “misleading,” Meijer has said, “I did absolutely nothing wrong.” He added, “I offer directly fresh sperm which is better than frozen sperm. I give it for free, they don’t have to pay me. They can have contact with me. They can ask me for anything they want.”

In addition to personally giving women his sperm, he also said he donated through “natural donation” — sex.

Meijer said that at first, he would tell women about the number of other women he had given sperm to, but then that caused “so many problems” that he decided to “follow the guidelines of the clinic” and stop informing women of the number of children he had already fathered.

Meijer’s actions expose just one of the major problems with assisted reproductive technology and the unregulated fertility industry.

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