We previously shared the shocking story of an Indiana fertility doctor who used his own sperm with dozens of patients at his clinic over a four-decades-long period, fathering at least 46 children. In a story that bears eerie similarities to that one, the Associated Press reported recently that a Dutch fertility doctor also inseminated dozens of women using his own sperm, rather than sperm from anonymous donors.
The doctor in the Netherlands, Dr. Jan Karbaat, died in 2017. Dr. Karbaat appears to have fathered at least 49 children, likely more. Many of those children, now adults, found each other through DNA testing. The Dutch Donor Child Foundation believes there may be many more direct offspring of Dr. Karbaat in the Netherlands and perhaps even in the United States.
While sperm and egg donors in the Netherlands today have no right to anonymity, donors before 2004 did. The culture in the 1970s and 1980s surrounding infertility and artificial insemination was one of tight-lipped secrecy, with doctors routinely advising parents not to tell their children they were donor-conceived. That culture of secrecy may have helped Dr. Karbaat get away with using his own sperm in so many cases, only for his crimes to be discovered after his death.
Besides the understandable shock and anger Dr. Karbaat’s victims are now dealing with, they’re also grappling with the real possibility that some of the half-siblings could have unwittingly dated or even married each other. Thankfully, there have been no reports yet of this happening.
For more information on this case, read the full Associated Press story here.
If you plan to create or add to your family with Assisted Reproductive Technology, a skilled attorney can help protect your legal rights – and the rights of your child. To learn more, contact us today!