The Crazy True Story Behind ‘The Man With 1000 Kids’—Where Is Jonathan Meijer Now? (2024)

Netflix’s new three-part docuseries, The Man With 1000 Kids, is currently the No. 1 show on the streaming platform. While you’re watching, you might have questions about what happened to the families in real life, including where Jonathan Jacob Meijer is now.

The Man With 1000 Kids recounts the true story of multiple couples and single women who discover that their sperm donor was a prolific donor, fathering hundreds of children across various countries and continents. He donated to 11 sperm banks in the Netherlands (which boasts a population of around 17 million, or just over half that of Texas) and also made private donations.

“You get one life on this Earth — why has he chosen to use his charm and his intellect and his creativity in order to try to procreate on a mass scale and deceive all these people?” the docuseries’ director Josh Allott asks Tudum. “Speaking to lots of different parents that have met him and people that know him well, it seems like it almost became an addiction for him.”

ForbesJonathan Jacob Meijer Threatens To Sue Netflix For 'The Man With 1000 Kids'By Monica Mercuri

Who Is Jonathan Jacob Meijer?

Jonathan Jacob Meijer is a Dutch musician and YouTuber who allegedly has upwards of 500 children worldwide from sperm donation. Meijer said in a YouTube video in February 2024 that he was inspired to become a sperm donor after a classmate told him he was infertile. Earlier in an October 2023 video, he explained that because he doesn’t have a family history of cancer, diabetes, or genetic diseases, he believed that donating sperm would be a kind thing to do, according to People.

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Meijer comes from a large family and has seven siblings. One of his friends, Patricia, speaks in the docuseries about his childhood. She said that as a young adult, Meijer struggled to find his own identity and constantly circled through jobs and looks. One mother in the series described him as having a “God-like complex,” thanks to his long, flowy blonde hair and deep blue eyes.

While he was donating his sperm in the Netherlands and around the world, he frequently posted to his YouTube channel, where he shared his opinions on everything from cryptocurrency to trying a raw-meat diet.

What Did Jonathan Jacob Meijer Allegedly Do?

Jonathan Jacob Meijer is accused of lying to parents and deceiving them to use his sperm donations to have children around the world. The Man With 1000 Kids details how Meijer used several names like Jacob, Ruud, Walter, and Maarten to communicate with the parents of children he would help to conceive.

Serial donors like Meijer pose significant risks due to the possibility of hundreds of children sharing the same genes. One of the most severe is called consanguinity, which involves sexual relationships or marriages between people with common biological ancestors. This threat is particularly concerning in the Netherlands, where Meijer has made numerous donations within a small geographical area. Three of his offspring even ended up in the same daycare, according to Time.com.

“Children who haven’t been brought up together are more likely to get attracted to each other because they see some familiarities in the face of the sibling,” one mother named Natalie said in the documentary. That feeling of romantic love is also known as the phenomenon called the “Luke and Leia complex,” which is named after the Star Wars characters.

What Happened To The Families Affected By Jonathan Meijer?

Meijer’s sperm donations have impacted hundreds of families, many of which appear in The Man with 1000 Kids. Among them are Suzanne and Natalie from the Netherlands, who believed that they were only one of the few couples he was helping to become parents. There’s also Joyce and John, a couple who were unable to conceive because of an irreversible vasectomy that John endured during his first marriage.

In Australia, Sydney-based couple Laura and Kate learned about Meijer from a Facebook group. Single mom Vanessa felt grateful for Meijer, a sentiment also shared by Nicolette, a single mom and preschool teacher, who learned that one of her colleagues had also given birth to one of Meijer’s children. Eventually, she found more half-siblings in her community, according to Netflix.

In 2021, the New York Times interviewed a Dutch woman named Vanessa van Ewijk about her experience with Meijer. Before Ms. van Ewijk welcomed a daughter with his sperm, he lied and told her that their child was his eighth. She returned to him a few years later, and in 2017, he helped her conceive a baby boy under similar false pretenses.

But she received startling news about Meijer after connecting with another single mother on Facebook who also used him as her donor. The woman told Ms. van Ewijk that Meijer had fathered at least 102 children in the Netherlands through numerous fertility clinics.

Ms. van Ewijk confronted Mr. Meijer, who admitted that he had produced at least 175 children and said there might be more. “He said, ‘I’m just helping women make their biggest wish come true,’” Ms. van Ewijk recalled to the newspaper. “I said: ‘You’re not helping anymore! How do I tell my kids that they could possibly have 300 siblings?’”

How Did Jonathan Meijer Get Caught?

More than 150 parents of Meijer’s children connected online and contacted the Donorkind Foundation for help. The organization, which helps children of sperm donation trace their roots, received more than 30 calls in a single week from mothers concerned that their children had the same father, according to People.

Per Dutch medical guidelines, a donor can only father 25 children to avoid possible incest and psychological problems. However, going over that number is not considered a criminal offense, ABC News reported in 2023.

In 2017, Meijer was banned from donating from the Dutch Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology (NVOG). Six years later, in April 2023, he lost a civil lawsuit from the Donorkind Foundation. A Dutch court ordered Meijer to stop donating sperm and subjected him to a 100,000 Euro fine for each future violation. According to Tudum, he was also required to “request that sperm banks destroy any of his sem*n available to new parents.”

How Many Children Does Jonathan Meijer Have?

The exact number of children that Jonathan Meijer has helped conceive is unknown. Eve Wiley, a fertility fraud activist, told Tudum that he could have 3,000 potential children.

“So with Jonathan and Cryos International, he’s going to Copenhagen once a month for four days for four years. That’s roughly 200 donations, and you can get about 15 straws of sperm per ejacul*tion. If every straw makes a baby, that could be 3,000 potential children,” she explained. “That is just one sperm bank. And we know that he was in at least 11 sperm banks.”

The Man With 1000 Kids producer Natalie Hill said that while the children will be affected — as well as the children’s children — the impacts will run much deeper. “But every cousin is affected. Everyone who becomes a partner of those children is then affected. Jonathan’s brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, everyone that is connected or becomes connected by making a new family will be affected by his actions.”

Where Is Jonathan Jacob Meijer Now?

Jonathan Meijer continues to travel the world and posts YouTube videos of his trips. Most recently, he was in Zanzibar, a Tanzanian archipelago off the coast of East Africa. In May 2024, Meijer admitted to fathering 550 children, despite previously saying that number was “approximately 250” in 2021.

The serial donor claims he doesn’t know much about The Man With 1000 Kids because he didn’t participate in it. “It’s what they think about me and what others say about me. I was right in not participating for myself, personally, because they first wanted to call it The Fertility Fraudster. That’s not a title I can work with,” he said in a June 2024 video.

The documentary’s director Josh Allott told Tudum that he did meet with Jonathan to speak with him about being in the docuseries. “We approached him a number of times to be interviewed and gave him a right to reply at the end. He refused to comment on any of the allegations in the series.”

The Man With 1000 Kids is streaming on Netflix. Watch the official trailer below.

The Crazy True Story Behind ‘The Man With 1000 Kids’—Where Is Jonathan Meijer Now? (2024)

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