Netflix's 'The Man with 1000 Kids' is about a prolific Danish sperm donor. Mothers who say he tricked them 'just want him to stop.'

Suzanne and Natalie in "The Man with 1000 Kids."
Suzanne and Natalie in "The Man with 1000 Kids."Netflix
  • Netflix's "The Man with 1000 Kids" is about a prolific Danish sperm donor, Jonathan Jacob Meijer.

  • In April 2023, Meijer was banned by a Dutch court from being a sperm donor.

  • Subjects in the docuseries claim that he has donated to fertility clinics worldwide.

Netflix's latest docuseries, "The Man with 1000 Kids," raises questions about the ethics of sperm donation by telling the story of a man who claims to have fathered 550 children. Some mothers who have used Jonathan Jacob Meijer's sperm claim the number is much higher.

Released on July 3, it features five couples who used Meijer as a sperm donor to start families after finding him on a website called "Longing for a Child." They each claim in the documentary that he told them they were the third or fourth couple that he had helped.

But in 2017, Meijer was banned from donating sperm by the Dutch Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology after it was found that he had donated to 11 different fertility clinics in the country, per The Telegraph. This included the global sperm bank, Cryos International, which sent samples across the world.

It's not the first time Netflix has covered the ethics of sperm donation. The 2022 documentary, "Our Father," examined an American fertility doctor who misled couples by using his own sperm to help them conceive.

It was watched for 42.60 million hours within the first three weeks of release, according to What's On Netflix. The streamer, which has found great success with docuseries and true crime shows, will want to top that figure.

A woman identified only as Natalie, who is one half of a Dutch couple who used Meijer's sperm in 2012, thinking they were his third couple, described the situation to The Independent as a "public health hazard." Natalie, who also appeared on the Netflix documentary, highlighted the possible ramifications for future generations because of the number of children Meijer has fathered.

Her partner Suzanne said: "They can never just date somebody or have intercourse with somebody, they will always need to take care and even then they might not be aware that they're a donor child. It's a very dangerous and unhealthy situation for these children and for their children and grandchildren."

In April 2023, Meijer was ordered by The Hague District Court to stop donating sperm, and he will face fines of €100,000 for every future violation, Dutch News reported.

But Meijer has a YouTube channel where he documents his travels around the world, and the docuseries claims that he has donated to clinics globally.

"That's why we're still raising awareness, and hoping that there is a government that wants to put up legislation because that needs to happen," Natalie said. "Not just in individual countries, but globally. He is not stopping at borders, and he's not the only one. There are more out there."

Jonathan Jacob Meijer on a beach as seen in Netflix's "The Man with 1000 Kids."
Jonathan Jacob Meijer on a beach as seen in Netflix's "The Man with 1000 Kids."Netflix/YouTube

When asked about the claims that he has donated globally, Meijer told Business Insider: "As a bank donor doing regular visits, I only was active in the Netherlands for Cryos. Outside of them, I have been to a few clinics to donate one time and privately for a couple."

Responding to Meijer's decision not to appear in the documentary, Natalie said: "He was given a right to respond. His comments are always: 'This is untrue and the women are just angry mothers.' We're not angry. We just want him to stop."

On Wednesday, Meijer appeared on BBC's "Woman's Hour" to discuss the Netflix series and confirmed that, according to his records, he has had 550 children. Meijer also criticized the streamer for depicting him negatively.

"I think Netflix did a great job of selecting the five families out of the 225 families that I've helped, and they will definitely tell you something else. If someone calls this journalism or an official documentary I don't really see where's the value," he said.

Meijer told BI he stopped donating sperm in 2019 and also threatened to take legal action against Netflix over the allegation made in the docuseries that he mixed his sperm sample with another donor's to see who the child would look like.

"I will take legal action for slander, this is really insane!" he said.

Netflix did not immediately respond to BI's request for comment regarding his threats.

Read the original article on Business Insider