Say your mother's fertility doctor was Jan Karbaat? Then you may have a lot of new half-siblings—and a father who apparently broke the law. Turns out the Dutch doctor betrayed his clients by impregnating them with his own sperm and fathering at least 49 children, the BBC reports. The DNA results came out Friday after a two-year legal battle launched by dozens of parents and donor children, some of whom said they didn't resemble their purported donor or did resemble the doctor, per the Guardian. They fought to have his DNA extracted from items locked away in a safe including his toothbrush, per HuffPo, and won over his family's attempt to protect his privacy. Karbaat himself died in 2017 at age 89.
Initially judges wanted the test results sealed pending other court cases, but in February a court ruled that litigants' right to know outweighed the Karbaat family's interests, the Guardian reported at the time. Now the Karbaat children, most of whom are in their 30s, can say who their father was. "After a search of 11 years I can continue my life," says one. "I am glad that I finally have clarity." Many of them have also become friends and some say they plan to keep in touch, per Sky News. As for Karbaat—whose clinic was shuttered in 2009 amid accusations of shoddy practices—his motive remains opaque. He once referred to himself as "a pioneer in the field of fertilization." (Read more fertility stories.)