Amsterdam street scene
Ivo van Halen, a 34-year-old Dutch IT consultant, is compiling a very long Christmas card list. After learning that he was donor-conceived five years ago, he has been looking for his half-siblings on DNA testing sites on the internet. So far he has identified 57 of them in the Netherlands, plus his biological father. But a government agency for donor-conceived people believes that there could be as many as 1000 of them.
Mr van Halen’s sperm donor father donated regularly at three clinics for 20 years and some of the sperm was exported to other European countries.
He told The Times (London) that he had met a number of his half-siblings and it turned out that some of them had grown up nearby. “Some of the others had known each other before they found out they were related and had almost dated,” he said. “That’s one reason this sort of knowledge is so important.”
If super sperm donor dad really did have 1000 offspring, this would make him the world’s most prolific father. An Austrian doctor in London, Bertold Wiesner, used to hold the record. He is believed to have artificially inseminated up to 600 women at his fertility clinic after World War II.
This article is published by
and BioEdge under a Creative Commons licence. You may republish it or translate it free of charge with attribution for non-commercial purposes following these guidelines
. If you teach at a university we ask that your department make a donation. Commercial media must contact us
for permission and fees. Some articles on this site are published under different terms.