Dutch IVF Doctor Jan Karbaat Secretly Used His Sperm On Patients

The late fertility doctor fathered at least 49 children.

An embryologist fertilises embryos in the fertility laboratory at Birmingham Women's Hospital fertility clinic
Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

The late fertility doctor fathered at least 49 children.

For nearly 30 years, Dr. Jan Karbaat used his own sperm instead of donor samples while performing IVF procedures, and now, DNA testing has proved that there are a significant number of genetic matches.

The Cut says that after a judge ordered sealed records with the doctor’s genetic profile to be released, and it was tested against a group of suspected descendants, there were 49 matches. Before Dr. Karbaat died in 2017, he admitted that he might have fathered up to 60 children through his work in the fertility clinic.

But a New York Times report suggests that the doctor ran the clinic out of the back of his house near Rotterdam.

The doctor ran his practice from 1980 until 2009 when authorities shut him down for infractions related to the way he was storing biological materials and unprofessional record-keeping practices. Things got more complicated when a couple who thought they had used donor sperm found out that their two children were half-siblings, sharing a father.

In 2017, a group which included parents and suspected children of the Dutch doctor sued Karbaat’s family soon after the doctor’s death in an effort to obtain DNA that could be tested against the offspring suspected to be his.

Two judges finally ruled that there was enough evidence that the doctor used his own sperm instead of donations and that he might have fathered up to 200 children without their parents’ knowledge.

While some parents and children were disturbed by the prospect that the doctor had swapped his own sperm for that of donors, others said they didn’t have a problem with the situation. Eric Lever spoke out to say that his mother wanted a child and got one.

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“I don’t get the feeling that he cheated my mother. She really wanted a child and could not have one with my paternal father.”

A man named Joey spoke out to say that he’s happy to finally know the truth.

“After a search of 11 years I can continue my life. I am glad that I finally have clarity.”

An article last year in The Inquisitr reported that there was at least one more case of a fertility doctor using his own sperm to fertilize eggs for patients. A woman who used an Ancestry.com DNA test found out that the man she thought was her biological father, wasn’t, and instead, she was a match to her mother’s fertility doctor’s family. The woman and her parents filed a lawsuit against the doctor, accusing him of committing fraud.