Fertility clinic boss fathered at least 47 children, but total will never be known

Photo: Depositphotos.com
Photo: Depositphotos.com

A gynaecologist from the former Sophia hospital in Zwolle is now known to have fathered at least 47 between 1980 and 1994 using his own sperm, without informing the parents, the hospital has confirmed.

Jan Wildschut, who has since died, worked in the hospital’s artificial insemination unit and was unmasked in 2019 following a number of matches between apparently unrelated children in several commercial DNA banks.

The hospital then put together a DNA profile of Wildschut so that donor children who want to know if he is their biological father could sign up for a free test.

Initially, 17 children were identified, then the total rose to 33. Hospital manager Ina Kuper told RTV Oost that it will never be completely clear how many children Wildschut fathered.

He kept no diary or notes and was in charge of the clinic’s administration, she said.

Other cases

The case is similar to that of fertility specialist Jan Karbaat who is known to have fathered at least 49 children.

Karbaat ran a fertility clinic in the Rotterdam suburb of Barendrecht for nearly 30 years until it was shut down in 2009 for failing to meet storage standards, and administrative irregularities.

Dutch law limits the number of people who can be conceived from one sperm donor to 25, and since 2004, children have the right to find out their donor’s identity when they are 16.

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