A former Dutch gynecologist, now deceased, used his own sperm in artificial inseminations on women who thought they were using anonymous donors, fathering at least 17 children, the hospital in which he practiced on Tuesday announced on Tuesday.
Jan Wildschut worked from 1981 to 1993 at the fertility clinic at Isala Hospital in Zwolle, in the north of the Netherlands.
At least 17 children were conceived through the practices of the gynecologist, also a father, the hospital said in a press release, calling these acts “morally unacceptable”.
The establishment, called at the time Sophia Hospital, does not exclude the possibility that Mr. Wildschut is the biological father of more children.
The hospital, which learned of the news at the end of 2019, decided to make it public together with the family of the doctor and the children concerned in order to contribute to “greater transparency” in terms of sperm donation.
According to local media outlet De Stentor, the case came to light by chance when one of the children obtained a DNA match with a niece of Mr Wildschut, who died in 2009, through a commercial database.
“We never suspected that he himself could have been the donor,” a parent wishing to remain anonymous told the newspaper, adding that the gynecologist made a “friendly, engaged and honest impression”.
Informed of the case, the Inspectorate of Health and Youth (IGJ) indicated that it will not open an investigation since the facts took place at a time when there was no law or regulations on fertility treatments, according to the hospital.
Last year, a series of DNA tests showed that the former director of a Dutch sperm bank, suspected of having repeatedly used his own sperm instead of that of the chosen donor, was the biological father of 49 children, a scandalous case in the Netherlands.