April 12, 2024

Dutch fertility doctor accused of using his own sperm

But he died in April so potential children are suing to access DNA material

Dr Jan Karbaat was a leading fertility doctor in The Netherlands in the 1980s. Now it appears that he used his own sperm to help some of his patients get pregnant.

Dr Karbaat, who died in April at the age of 89, ran a sperm bank near Rotterdam from 1980 to 2009. About 10,000 children may have been conceived at his clinic.

Now 12 donor-conceived people, and 10 mothers, have sued for access to his DNA to see whether he is the biological father. Court officials have already seized some of his personal items to that a DNA test can be done.

Dr Karbaat’s clinic closed in 2009 after irregularities were detected in its record-keeping.

One of the parties to the lawsuit is Dr Moniek Wassenaar, 36, a psychiatrist. She questioned Dr Karbaat before he died and asked if she might actually be his daughter. He admitted that it was possible, she claims, because they resemble each other. Karbaat told her he was proud of spreading his seed: “He [thought he] was in good health and intelligent, so he could share some of his genes with the world,” she said. “He saw it as something noble. He had no concept of ethics and minimised the impact on the children.”

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