Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, February 4, 2021

The Case of the Serial Sperm Donor

SpermdonorIn 2015, Vanessa van Ewijk decided to use a sperm donor to have a child, given the high cost of going through a fertility clinic. Van Ewijk decided to use a website called Desire for a Child which is an online sperm market that matches candidate donors and potential recipients. 

Van Ewijk was particularly interested in Jonathan Jacob Meijer, a Dutch musician in his 30s. Van Ewijk said that he appeared very genuine stating, “I spoke to him on the phone and he seemed gentle and kind and well-behaved,” she said. “He liked music, and he talked about his thoughts on life. He didn’t come on strong in any sense. He seemed like the boy next door.”

Van Ewijk and Mr. Meijer eventually met and Mr. Meijer provided Van Ewijk with his sperm in exchange for 65 euros (about $200). Van Ewijk eventually gave birth to a daughter, which was Mr. Meijer's eighth child. 

In 2017, van Ewijk reached out to Mr. Meijer again and made another purchase of a sperm. This time, van Ewijk had a baby boy. Before reaching out to Mr. Meijer the second time, van Ewijk had learned that Mr. Meijer had fathered at least 102 children in the Netherlands. 

Although van Ewijk was alarmed, she wanted her children to be full siblings, so she reached out to Meijer nonetheless. 

The want for children to be full siblings is especially popular in Netherlands because as a small country, there is a higher chance of half siblings meeting each other—completely unaware of their relation—and have kids of their owns. These children would have a heightened risk of carrying hereditary defects. 

Van Ewijk decided to confront Meijer and he admitted to her that he had fathered at least 175 children, even admitting there could be more. 

See Jacqueline Mroz, The Case of the Serial Sperm Donor, February 1, 2021.

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.  





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