It seems that a British scientist is a father to 600 children that are the result of a pioneering sperm donations laboratory he and his wife were having.
Bertold Wiesner, a biologist by profession, and his wife, Mary Barton, MD, established in the ’40s of last century a controversial fertility laboratory in London, who helped women conceive about 1,500 babies.
Now, two men Barry Stevens, Canadian documentary filmmaker, and David Gollancz, a London lawyer that were created through artificial insemination in the Burton Clinic showed that they are the biological sons of Wiesner. In addition, they also found evidence that he spawned hundreds of other children.
The “Sunday Times” reported yesterday (Sunday) that the existence of the clinic provoked stormy debates for years, because apparently it used a small number of donors, members of Wiesner and his wife, all of whom had a higher IQ than the average population.
Father to over 600 children?
Based on DNA testing, Stevens and Gollancz believe that Wiesner who was born in Austria, is responsible for about two-thirds of all sperm donations collected in the laboratory. The tests were conducted in 2007 among 18 people who were born as a result of Wiesner’s clinic between 1943 and 1962. 12 of the subjects are descendants of Wiesner, and thus they concluded that taking into account the different variables, Wiesner has about 600 children.
Gollancz told that the study they conducted revealed that his biological father used to donate sperm regularly since the early 40s to mid 60s. “A conservative estimate would be that he contributed about 20 times a year. With possible twin pregnancies and un-successful pregnancies, I believe he is responsible to about 300 to 600 children,” he said.
Allan Pacey, a man fertility specialist at Sheffield university and chairman of the British Fertility Society, said that the calculation is “possible” since a healthy man can contribute up to 50 sperm donations once a year, even if the legislation today forbids it. Gollancz’s brother, Barry Stevens, believes the real number is higher and it is up to 1,000 children. However, the number 600 still humbles the previous record which was discovered last year – an anonymous American donor responsible to 150 children.