Nina and Suzanne have children thanks to Leon’s sperm donor. They don’t seem alone. “In hindsight, I ignored too many red flags.” | family

Nina and Suzanne have children thanks to a sperm donor they found online. They discover that Leon is his name, though he has used several aliases. Thanks to their detective work and the Lyon family, the two women discovered that “at least eighty women in the Netherlands” had become pregnant from this sperm donor in the past 14 years. They share their story in order, perhaps, to track down more women who also have children from Lyon.

Mothers are now looking for more recipients of this donor to protect their children and provide peer contact. “In hindsight, I ignored so many red flags. I wanted nothing more than a kid and he was able to make it happen. I wore rose-tinted glasses and was simply naive,” says Suzanne (a name known to the editors).

She is the mother of a son and a daughter, both from a sperm donor. Suzanne becomes acquainted with Marijn van Dijk, one of Leon’s aliases, through the Internet.

“I have a psychological history and I don’t want to be judged by a clinic. That’s why I decided to look for a sperm donor online myself. We connected through a call and spoke by email for over two months. It was nice to see that we were on the same page of Where expectations are. He came across as very engaging and always responded quickly and very thoroughly.”

His plea states that Leon has two daughters and five donor children. Susan will be the sixth and last. I realized that he could be lying about this, because he is uncontrollable. I asked him for proof of STDs and his ID. There was a different last name on it, but the initials matched. I get that he doesn’t want to use his real last name online.”

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How can a group donation?

How could it be that a man like Leon had given birth to dozens, maybe even hundreds, of children? Ties van der Meer, President of the Donorkind Foundation, explains:

“In the early 1990s a guideline was put in place that increased the number of children per donor to 25. There is now a national attitude that donor sperm can be used for no more than a dozen women. Clinics should enforce this, but the system is leaky like a basket.” says Theis van der Meer, president of the Donorkind Foundation.

“There is no national registration, which means that donors in the Netherlands alone can go to this extent in many fertility clinics. Only mothers’ data is registered and sperm donors can go about their business. In addition, relevant legislation only applies to treatment with A sperm donor in the clinic. What happens outside the clinics is completely invisible. So, it’s just a matter of believing someone in their blue eyes when they say they’ve helped ‘only’ four other moms.”

There are no private photos

Susan also notices that he only sends pictures of himself as a child and pictures of his daughters. Five minutes before his appointment, he sent a picture of himself. I remember thinking, ‘Oh no, what am I going to get,’ but I trusted him anyway. Our connection was good and he kept his promises. When my first attempt ended in a miscarriage, he was very understanding and involved. At the same time he told many strange stories and I subconsciously felt that some things were not right.”


I wondered about his story, but on the other hand I didn’t think it would be a problem if there were more women


On the Internet, she becomes acquainted with Nina (the nickname known to the editors), who also becomes a mother thanks to Leon. Leon donates in their home – without the intervention of fertility clinics. The women say that before he died young of esophageal cancer earlier this year, he gave his family a list of the women he’d donated to. Nina and Susan are two of them.

Nina has a son with Leon, the sperm donor. I have PCOS, a condition that can make getting pregnant naturally more difficult. At the fertility center I first had to take hormones to stimulate ovulation, there was a two year waiting period and I didn’t have the option of transferring characteristics to a donor. That is why I decided to find a suitable sperm donor myself.

She is introduced to Leon through a website for prospective parents. When a friendly gay couple thanks to Leon get pregnant and have a good experience with him, she also decides to ask him for help. “We emailed and called for a while and we got along fine. He told me he’d donated to four more women in Zwolle, I’d be the fifth. I questioned his story, but on the other hand I didn’t think there would be a problem if there were more women.”

They agree that Leon will visit her when she ovulates, so that Nina can then impregnate herself. That night I got a different picture of him. He was supposed to come in the evening, but he ended up in the middle of the night. He refused to take off his mask, even when I asked him if I could see his face a little better. He used his sick grandmother as an excuse.”


This can’t be true, I just thought. I wanted to give it to the kids someday when they’re ready

Facebook group of mothers of children of Lyon

After Suzanne’s first child was born, she discovered there was a Facebook group for women who had children from donor Leon. In other words, Maren Van Dyck.

Leon has been using various aliases for years. There is one picture of him in a five-a-side football uniform circulating on the Internet that he sends to everyone. “The founder of this Facebook page knew a few years ago that Leon lied about the amount of his sperm donations. I founded the group so that half-siblings would have the opportunity to connect with each other long-term.” The group now has eighty members with children between the ages of 0 and 14, but according to Susan, the actual number of children is estimated to be more than four hundred.

Suzanne slowly realizes that Leon’s story contains more lies and decides to confront him about it. “I wanted a second child from him, so that my child would have the same biological father. I wanted to understand why he did this. I didn’t approve of his actions, but our conversations helped me understand where his behavior came from. So it felt okay for me to get pregnant through him a second time.”

Leon is in shelter

In April of this year, Suzanne received an application from another mother of two from Lyon. It says that Leon has esophageal cancer and is dying. “The hair on my neck stood on end. This can’t be true, I just thought. I wanted to give it to the kids someday when they’d be ready. The idea that this could no longer be possible was too hard for me.”

Nina: I heard the news from another mother. She is approached by Leon’s brother, who takes over his phone. Apparently, Leon handed him a list of all the women he made donations to. That got the ball rolling.”

Suzanne has a phone call with Leon’s brother. His family did not know anything about the size of his donations until a week before his death. At the time of his death, two or three women were still waiting for him.” Leon’s funeral will be streamed online for Susan, Nina and other mothers to attend. It turns out that Leon came from a strict religious family and had been fighting himself for years. Hearing these stories gave me empathy and helped me cope. with her “.

Stop searching

“It’s now a completed story that I can tell my kids,” says Susan. ,, I don’t know how much I’m going to share every detail with them, but at least I no longer have to worry that there will be more half-siblings or that he won’t keep his agreements. I feel like my kids have been spared some misery.”

“If there are women who can no longer access it or still think they can give it to their children, I want them to know what happened. We won’t know the whole story again, but we can answer a lot of questions together. I also hope this story serves as a warning to women who are now on their way to becoming single mothers. This is how this world works.”

Do you recognize yourself in the stories of Nina and Susan? You can contact Suzanne via this email address:

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