UK Fertility clinic founder fathered up to 600 children

Two men born from sperm donation uncovered some shocking information when searching for the identities of their fathers.

Barry Stevens, a documentary film-maker from Canada, and David Gollancz, a London-based barrister, found that not only did they have the same biological father, but they may even share the same biological father with 600 other donor children.

The “super donor” was Dr. Bertold Wiesner, founder of a controversial U.K. fertility in the 1940s.

Based on DNA analysis of 18 people who were conceived at the clinic between 1943-1962, two-thirds shared Wiesner’s DNA.

When this rate is extrapolated to include all children conceived at the clinic, Wiesner is calculated to be the biological father of up to 600 children.  That would mean Wiesner donated sperm 20 times a year.

The Barton Clinic was set up by Wiesner, a biologist, and his wife Mary Barton, a doctor, in the 1940s.  Allegedly, the clinic used sperm donations drawn from a small circle of the founders’ academic friends.

As a result, the clinic received criticism from a range of people including peers in Britain’s House of Lords and the then Archbishop of Canterbury.