DNA testing

DNA tests prove fertility doctor fathered 49 children

After years waiting for confirmation, DNA tests have finally revealed that a Dutch fertility doctor used his own sperm to inseminate patients without their consent, and is the father of 49 children.

Jan Karbaat, who died 2 years ago, impregnated the mothers at his clinic in Bijdorp, near Rotterdam. The DNA test results were confirmed this week.

Most of the children were born in the 1980s. One of the children said he could “finally close the chapter” now he knew Mr Karbaat was his father.

“After a search of 11 years I can continue my life. I am glad that I finally have clarity”, he told Dutch broadcaster NOS.

The lawyer representing the 49 donor children, Tim Bueters, said he was pleased about the outcome of the case after years of uncertainty.

“It means that there is finally clarity for the children who are matched”, he said.

Serious suspicions

Mr Karbaat was first taken to court in 2017 by a group of parents over suspicions that their children were related. One of the cases involved a donor child who physically resembled the doctor, the court heard. Items were then seized from his home after his death (aged 89) in April 2017.

Judges ruled that DNA tests could be carried out but said the results must be sealed pending the outcome of further court cases. In February this year, Rotterdam District Court ruled that the results of the DNA tests could finally be revealed.

A statement on the website of legal firm Rex Advocate says that the DNA test results substantiate “serious suspicions that Mr Karbaat used his own sperm in the clinic”.

Mr Karbaat had called himself a pioneer in the field of fertilisation. His clinic was closed in 2009 amid allegations that he had falsified data, analyses and donor descriptions and exceeded the permitted number of six children per donor.

‘Doctor-conceived’ persons

A consequence of the increased uptake of home DNA tests in the USA is the shocking discovery that some fertility doctors there have also used their own sperm to ‘treat’ their patients’ infertility issues. Last month, Dr Donald Cline from Indiana was stripped of his medical licence after being prosecuted for using his own sperm in over 48 cases.

Professor Jody L. Madeira, of the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University Bloomington, has said that more and more individuals are finding themselves in this situation, and hoping to seek legal action. She has coined the phrase ‘doctor-conceived’ as opposed to the usual term for persons conceived in this manner: ‘donor-conceived’. For information on our range of DNA testing services, please call AlphaBiolabs on 0333 600 1300.