A fertility doctor in the Netherlands allegedly tricked his patients by using his own sperm to impregnate them without their knowledge.
Jan Karbaat misled his patients into thinking that the sperm he had been using to inseminate them were from donors, but in fact, they were his own. He ultimately fathered 49 children with his clients.
Karbaat's years-long scam was confirmed after a court allowed the release of DNA results.
Illegally Impregnating Patients
Karbaat, who died two years ago, had carried out his scheme at his clinic in Bijdorp, just outside the Dutch city of Rotterdam.
The doctor's supposed offspring took him to court in 2017, following suspicions that they may be related. One of the donor children even physically resembled Karbaat, according to court proceedings.
Judges overseeing the suit at the time allowed for DNA tests to be carried out, provided that the results will remain sealed until all other court cases have been resolved.
Earlier this year, the Rotterdam District Court ruled in favor of releasing the test results. Findings showed that Karbaat was indeed related to the plaintiffs.
Joey, one of the children Karbaat had illegally sired, said he is now finally able to "close the chapter" of his life, knowing that the doctor was his father. He told a local news team that he could continue with his life after 11 years of searching. He said he is happy to finally have some clarity.
Meanwhile, Martijn van Halen, another one of the doctor's offspring, said that it was nice to know for sure who his father was and that it has given him peace.
Tim Bueters, who served as legal counsel to all 49 donor children, welcomed the results of the DNA tests after years of not knowing what the outcome would be.
"It means that there is finally clarity for the children who are matched," Bueters said.
Karbaat had considered himself as a pioneer in the area of fertilization.
In 2009, he was forced to shut down his Bijdorp clinic after he had been accused of falsifying his data and analyses. He was also said to have exceeded the maximum number of children allowed for every donor.
In April 2017, Karbaat died at the age of 89. Several items were seized from his home following his death.
Fertility Doctors Taking Advantage Of Patients
Karbaat was not the only so-called fertility expert who had scammed patients regarding their impregnation.
In 2018, an Indianapolis doctor by the name of Donald Cline had been accused of inseminating as many as 50 clients using his own sperm without their consent.
However, since Indiana did not have laws pertaining to such offense, Cline was only charged with obstruction of justice. He also faced allegations of immoral conduct and false advertising in carrying out his profession.
Cline's medical license was revoked, and he was slapped with a year's probation and a $500 fine.
Jacoba Ballard, one of the children born out of Cline's transgression, said the sentence was not enough to send a message. Ballard said Cline had violated her mother, and that he exploited one of the most vulnerable moments of her life.
Ballard and other donor children are now calling for better safeguards regarding assisted reproduction. They are also demanding harsher penalties for doctors who violate the rights of their patients.