'The Man with 1000 Kids' sperm donor Jonathan Jacob Meijer said his children should use a symbol on social media to prevent incest

Jonathan Jacob Meijer in Helsinki.
Prolific sperm donor Jonathan Jacob Meijer pictured in Helsinki.Jonathan Jacob Meijer/YouTube
  • Jonathan Jacob Meijer is a prolific sperm donor who is the focus of Netflix's "The Man with 1000 Kids."

  • Meijer told a court in April 2023 that his many children should use a social media symbol to prevent incest.

  • He recently said he wasn't 'serious' but fears around incest are 'outdated.'

Jonathan Jacob Meijer, the prolific sperm donor who is the focus of the show "The Man with 1000 Kids," said that his children should use a symbol on social media to avoid unwittingly having incestuous relationships.

The Netflix docuseries, which was released on July 3, details how Meijer donated sperm to different fertility clinics in his native Netherlands and around the world. The Hague District Court banned him from donating sperm in April 2023 after it was found he had fathered between 500 and 600 children around the world, Reuters reported.

Meijer confirmed that he fathered 550 children during the 2023 court case, and it's unclear why Netflix chose the title "The Man with 1000 Kids." Representatives for the streamer did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

The show has sparked debate about Meijer and the ethics of sperm donation. It's the latest example of Netflix getting audiences talking. In April, subscribers became so obsessed by the true crime stalking drama "Baby Reindeer" that they tracked down the real person that the stalker character was based on.

The third episode of "The Man with 1000 Kids" details the 2023 court case that resulted in his ban and states that he'll be fined €100,000 if he donates anywhere in the world again. This is because Meijer has so many children that are his they are at risk of inbreeding.

During the court proceedings, the judge asked Meijer about the incest concerns. He suggested that his children should use a symbol on social media as a way of avoiding incest.

A narrator reading the court transcript in the docuseries said: "The defence argues that if they are worried about incest, his donor children can use a social media symbol to identify themselves as one of his children."

A woman from Australia identified as Kate in the documentary, who used Meijer's sperm, told the show that his court statement shocked the mothers involved with the case.

"It was a horrible suggestion. A lot of children may not want to display a symbol. A lot of those children may want to maintain their privacy," she said.

In an interview broadcast on Wednesday on BBC Radio 4's "Woman's Hour," the host asked Meijer if he really thought social media was a good way for his children to identify themselves.

Meijer responded: "Just to make clear, it was not serious like 'Oh they have to do this.' Look, we're in a new situation now, we're in a new phase where children from donors with an open identity, they deal with a new situation. So for me I have 17 years as a donor, I know what I'm talking about, I think about it every day."

He went on: "So the things that you bring here like all these outdated views like 'Oh the fears of inbreeding, oh the identity crisis' we're now in 2024, we've seen lesbian couples everywhere, single mothers everywhere. We know that donors are helping families, so these outdated views, we should stop projecting them on these children."

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