Heartbroken women in The Netherlands have given birth to numerous children with Asperger's Syndrome after a sperm donor lied to them about the state of his health.
For 18 months the man's semen has been used despite the fact that he suffers from the hereditary autistic disorder. Incredibly, he is still active as a sperm donor, but not at an official clinic.
Dutch media said the man has fathered at least 22 children and several of those are already showing symptoms of autism.
Asperger's Syndrome is a type of development disorder retarding in the development of many basic skills, most notably the ability to socialize with others, to communicate, and to use imagination.
Symptoms include children losing language or social skills, an inability to make friends easily, and developing unusual behaviour patterns, such as spending hours lining up toys or developing odd repetitive movements.
Despite passing on his syndrome and lying about his health, the man is still an active sperm donor
Asperger's syndrome was named for the Austrian doctor, Hans Asperger, who first described the problems 1944, but it was not recognized as a unique disorder until much later.
The Dutch sperm donor is aged 30 and comes from the port city of Rotterdam.
The woman who had babies as a result of his sperm only found out his true identity in the past month.
As well as carrying the Asperger's gene, Dutch newspapers said he had also been treated for depression in the past.
The women contacted the man via the Internet; this has become a popular method in Holland due to the long waiting lists at offical sperm banks and the high prices they charge.
Waiting periods vary from six months to two years and prices are usually between 500 and 1,000 pounds. The long waiting lists have also led hospitals to give preferential treatment to heterosexual couples.
As a result, many single women and lesbian couples find it is much faster and cheaper to find sperm donors via the internet.
'There is a perceived added value in that the women get to meet the potential sperm donor, but the risks are also considerably higher,' said the Dutch newspaper AD. 'Some of the unofficial donors are reportedly only after sex or out to have as many donor children as possible.'
Identified only as Paul, the newspaper claimed he was a 'pathological liar.' Women have come forward to say that they had intercourse with him, or artificial insemination, after meeting him on websites like Verlangennaareenkind.nl and Bam-mam.nl.
Those two sites have since banned him but there are fears he will continue to infect women with the autism gene by changing his identity and advertising elsewhere.
Erika co-founder of Pride Angel, the leading parenting connection website added 'This incident emphasises how important it is to personally meet and get to know your sperm donor, finding out as much as possible about their medical family history.' 'Fertility clinics can only perform limited screening tests, therefore personally getting to know a donor before taking them to a clinic for fertility treatment, is the safest form of sperm and egg donation'.
For more information about finding a known sperm or egg donor visit www.prideangel.com
Article: 14th August 2011 www.dailymail.co.uk