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sperm colored blue swimming across a black background

A man who has fathered between 550 and 600 children over the past 16 years is not allowed to donate any more sperm to prospective parents, a court in the Netherlands ruled on Friday.

According to The Hague District Court, the man lied about the number of children he had already fathered, the number of sperm donations he had made and his intention to donate even more sperm.

“All these parents are now confronted with the fact that the children in their family are part of a huge kinship network, with hundreds of half siblings, which they did not choose,” the court said.

Because of Dutch privacy laws, the government has not publicly named the man, Jonathan Jacob Meijer, 41, in the court proceedings as the donor in question. However, in an email to The New York Times for a 2021 article about him, a spokesman for the health ministry confirmed his identity. “Donors must sign an agreement with their clinic that they don’t donate sperm at other clinics,” Gerrit-Jan KleinJan wrote. “The sperm donor you are writing about made...