Artificial city

The artificial insemination scandal rocks the Dutch gynecological community

An artificial insemination scandal has erupted in the Netherlands, shaking the fraternity of gynecologists with at least 10 doctors having used their own sperm without the mothers’ permission.

People took to social media on Saturday July 16 to express their outrage at the announcement of the affected clinic, Alrijne Hospital in the city of Leiden.

The clinic said the issue came to light after Fiom, an organization that helps trace parents in paternity cases, contacted them in June 2021. They said 21 of the people they worked with had been identified as having the same father, Jos Beek. died in 2019.

An independent investigation into the situation revealed that Beek fathered at least 41 children through the artificial insemination program, using his own where the mothers said they wanted the donor’s name to remain anonymous.

The cases, which date back to the 70s, 80s and 90s, identified that Beek had a rare inherited condition which, if associated with a mother with the same condition, would lead to untimely death. One of these mothers had indeed the condition of losing two babies before the age of two.

Beek is not the only gynecologist to have engaged in such practices, however, with the Donorkind Foundation, which helps children born by sperm donation find their fathers in a commercial DNA database, locating at least ten physicians with used their own semen in the last five years. years without the knowledge or permission of their parents.

Jan Karbaat is said to have fathered 81 children using his own sperm and Jan Wildschut who fathered at least 47.

Prior to 2014, the practice was unregulated, leading to doctors abusing their position on numerous occasions. However, since then, all data relating to artificial insemination must be recorded and made available to children who request it.

News of these doctors sparked a flurry of requests for donor information, revealing that some 200 men fathered thousands of children.

Esther de Lau, from the Donorkind Foundation which helps children anonymously, explained to the Dutch portal NU that the publicity received in some cases had a negative effect. As a result, they opted for anonymity to allow the “kids” to stay in control of the situation and decide if they want to get in touch.

She added: “As a child of a donor, you don’t want the whole world to have an opinion about your donor parent. Because you are the one who has to identify with this person. Being the doctor’s son is an additional handicap.

The artificial insemination scandal is not the first to shake the gynecological community in the Netherlands with successive cases coming to light.

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