Lifestyle & Belief

Volunteer sperm donor: 82 children and still going strong


Ed Houben, 42. Quite possible the world's most prolific sperm donor.


According to his own meticulous record-keeping, Ed Houden has an 80 percent success rate in impregnating women.

That’s not the only procreation-related qualification he gladly publicizes.

His website advertising his “private sperm donor services” also lists that he is HIV-negative and does not have chlamydia.

His sperm count is more than 100 million per milliliter of ejaculate, which is — according to him — what makes him such a successful donor, he told Spiegel Online.

He admits he was a bit of a sexual “late bloomer.” He lost his virginity at 34, but has since more than made up for it, if fathering 82 children counts for anything (with 10 more on the way).

Simply put, Houden has found his inner purpose: spreading his seed to as many women as possible.

At 42, he is too old to donate sperm through clinics by the “official route,” which means clinics would use his sperm for insemination and IVF. So he sticks to the old-fashioned way: he knocks them up.

Here's how it works:

Houden finds women “interested in having a baby without a father involved” online through the sperm-donation site, according to Spiegel Online:

He already has three children in Berlin. The remaining 79 live in other cities and countries, including Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Spain. Houben has entered their names, dates of birth and genders into an Excel table at home. The oldest child is almost nine, while the youngest is only 2 months old.

In short, Houben, a historian from Maastricht, volunteers his services to help women who lack time, money or opportunity to take the “official route” to becoming pregnant.

What he is doing isn’t technically illegal. There are no limits on how many children someone can have, or rules on how a child is fathered.

But still, he could potentially get in trouble.

According to Spiegel Online, Houben reaches agreements where he has no obligations, such as child support duties. But those agreements aren't likely to hold up in court if any of these women decide to change their minds.

According to German law, for example, Houben could be ordered to pay support for the child and, in the first three years, for the mother as well. Later in life, the child could also sue for support, Spigel Online points out.

But for Houben, helping bring babies into the world is a bit like charity work, so he doesn’t mind taking a little risk in the name of what he calls "natural mating."

In other words, if you ever get to the point where you need an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of your offspring you should be proud of yourself. You are probably engaged in “natural mating.”

Not many people can say that.