Fertility doctor used own sperm to father 49 children

Fertility doctor Jan Karbaat, who died at age 89 in 2017, used his own sperm to father at least 49 children with clients who used the fertility clinic he worked at, was confirmed by DNA testing, NU.nl reports.

A group of children filed a civil lawsuit in order to gain clarity about the man who fathered them. In February the court in Rotterdam ruled that Karbaat's DNA could be used for testing. The DNA kinship tests were done by the Canisius-Wilhelmina Hospital in Nijmegen.

The tests showed that at least four children are directly descended from the fertility doctor. DNA testing already showed that these four donor children have dozens of half-brothers and -sisters. The tests also showed that six people were not fathered by Karbaat. 

Karbaat worked at IVF clinic MC Blijdorp in Barendrecht from 1980 until the clinic was closed by the Healthcare Inspectorate in 2009. The Inspectorate found that the clinic's files were not in order. 

"It has now become clear to us that fertility doctors were unable to monitor each other properly", Ties van der Meer of foundation Donorkind said, according to NU.nl. "The profession has failed for years."

For the donor children of Karbaat, this led to a lot of emotional damage, which they can now start to process, Van der Meer said. "It is very nice for those involved to get clarity after all these years."

Whether any of the donor children will claim compensation, is not yet clear.