Sperm bank let donors father up to 50 kids in "serious failure": Report
The sperm bank in the Rijnstate hospital in Arnhem was caught breaking Dutch rules by using the sperm of 15 donors too often. These 15 donors fathered a total of 548 children with 369 women, meaning that each man fathered an average of 36 children. That's way above the Dutch limit of 25 children per donor. One man even fathered 50 children, the Volkskrant reports based on a report from the Healthcare Inspectorate.
The Inspectorate speaks of a "serious failure" in the report, which dates from 2014. The case only came out now because on of the donors was in court on Monday to demand that the hospital take extra measures, according to the newspaper.
Rijnstate exceeded the 25 children per donor limit because the clinic's administration was not in order. In a few cases the sperm bank deliberately broke the rule so that women who wanted a second child could have that child with the same donor as their first child. The hospital tightened its procedures after being reprimanded by the Inspectorate.
"At the time our registration system was not well equipped to count multiple offspring from a donor to the same woman. As a result, the recommended maximum of 25 offspring per donor was exceeded", a spokesperson for Rijnstate said to the newspaper. "The chance of unintended damage is minimal, but we would like to keep to the national agreement and it is therefore unfortunate that this happened.
The 15 involved donors were informed about what is going on, as well as a number of women who wanted another child from the same donor. But most of the mothers of already born children were not informed, according to the newspaper. The hospital did not inform the affected mothers and children as to not "unnecessarily damage them". One of the involved donors, who fathered 37 children, went to court to demand that the mothers be informed and that the hospital take further steps to prevent such mistakes. He also asked for an independent investigation into the matter.
The Netherlands implemented the 25 children per donor rule in 1992 in an effort to reduce the risk of children from the same donor ending up in a relationship. The limit must also prevent a donor from having to maintain contact with too many children.