Online sperm donor fathered at least 80 children in Netherlands
A sperm donor who offered his services online fathered at least 80 children in the Netherlands, De Stentor reports after speaking with two women who have children conceived with his sperm. Leon recently died of cancer. Suzanne and Nina are sharing their story in the hope of finding all the women who used Leon’s sperm so that they can share experiences and the kids can know their half-siblings.
The extent of Leon’s donations became evident on his deathbed when he gave his brother a list of women he helped inseminate. There is also a Facebook group with 80 members - all women who have children conceived by the man who used various aliases.
“In hindsight, I ignored a lot of red flags. I wanted a child more than anything, and he was able to make it happen. I had rose-tinted glasses and was simply naive,” Suzanne said to De Stentor. “I have a psychiatric history and did not want to be judged by a clinic. That’s why I decided to look for a sperm donor online. We got in touch through a call and spoke via email over two months. He came across as very involved and always responded quickly and very comprehensively.”
He said he has two daughters of his own and fathered five children through sperm donation. Suzanne would be his sixth and last. “I realized that he could lie about this because it could not be checked. I asked him for proof that he had no STDs and for his ID card. There was a different name on it, but his initials matched. I understood that he did not want to use his real last name on the internet.”
Suzanne also found it strange that he would only send her photos of himself as a baby and his daughters. He only sent a picture of his adult self five minutes before he was set to arrive at her home. “I remember thinking, ‘oh no, what am I getting into,’ but I trusted him anyway.” He eventually fathered two children with Suzanne.
Nina, who has a son through Leon, got to know him through a website of prospective parents after a Lesbian couple she knew got pregnant with his help. "We emailed and called for a while, and our contact was good. He told me that he had donated to four other women in Zwolle, I would be the fifth. I questioned the story, but on the other hand, I didn’t think it would be a problem if there were a few more women.”
They agreed Leon would visit her when she ovulates so that Nina could inseminate herself. “That night, I got a different picture of him. He was supposed to come by in the evening, but it ended up being in the middle of the night. He refused to take off his mask, even when I asked if I could see his face a little better. He used his sick grandmother as an excuse.”
Nina and Suzanne met each other online. They also found a Facebook group for women who have children fathered by Leon. He had been using various aliases for years. There is one photo of him in a futsal uniform circulating online that he sent all the women. The group now has 80 members with children ranging from 0 to 14, but according to Suzanne, the actual number of children is likely well over a hundred.
Leon died of esophageal cancer earlier this year. Suzanne has telephone contact with his brother after Leon gave him a list of the women he donated sperm to. His family knew nothing about it, she said.
“If there are women who can no longer reach him or still think they can introduce him to their children, I want them to know what happened. We’ll never know the whole story, but we can answer many questions together,” Suzanne said. “I also hope that this story serves as a warning to women who are now on the journey to becoming single mothers. This is how this world works.”
Women who have similar stories to Suzanne and Nina can contact Suzanne by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.