The documentary that shows the dark side of anonymous sperm donors

Television The three-episode production arrived on Netflix on July 3 and is already one of the most watched worldwide.

A real and current portrait.

Jessica Sousa

Jonathan Meijer, 43, from the Netherlands, is a YouTuber and musician. He is also a sperm donor and is estimated to have fathered around a thousand offspring worldwide, causing anguish to many families. Netflix recently released a three-episode series that exposes the consequences of the lack of standards in fertility clinics. The production arrived on July 3 and is already in the platform’s top 10, according to FlixPatrol.

The story begins when one of the fathers of the son conceived by Meijer discovers that he has several half-siblings. The case takes on a new dimension when a doctor at a fertility center in the Netherlands receives an anonymous email with a complaint: one of the anonymous donors at the clinic where he worked had fathered more than 150 babies in the Netherlands alone.

It later became clear that he himself worked with several families and made donations to other banks, violating a contract he had signed with the Isala Fertility Center.

The documentary features interviews with several parents, including single mothers, lesbian couples and a man who was unable to reverse a vasectomy. They all found Meijer online and ended up using his services, especially because of his profile.

The production also ends up exploring the lack of regulation in sperm banks and how anonymous donors can be involved in fraud and manipulation.

Jonathan Meijer has already reacted to the miniseries and stated that it is “misleading”. At the heart of the issue, he highlights that it only shows unhappy families, when many others are grateful to it.

“They deliberately titled it [o documentário] “The Man with 1,000 Children,” when it should have been “the sperm donor who helped families conceive 550 children,” countered the 43-year-old Dutchman, quoted in “BBC“.

In 2017, he was banned from donating sperm in the Netherlands, but he continued to do so until 2023, when he was prosecuted for “intentionally increasing the risk of incest” for his children. In his testimony in court, Jonathan Meijer admitted to having between 550 and 600 children, but the court said he had a total of 1,000.

Click on the gallery to discover other productions coming to television and streaming platforms in July.