Israel's High Court of Justice has ruled that a woman may not use the sperm of a prolific US donor to become pregnant.
Israeli law requires complete anonymity in gamete donation, except where two people plan to co-parent the resulting child. Ari Nagel, a mathematics lecturer from New York, who has fathered at least 35 children through sperm donation agreed to sign documents saying that he intends to co-parent with the woman, but this was challenged by the Ministry of Health (see BioNews 955).
The court, delivering its judgment on 13 February, expressed a 'real and serious concern about the ability of the petitioner to actually serve as the father to over 38 children, both financially and in the essence of what a father's rule is within the family.'
Seven Israeli women wanted to use Mr Nagel's sperm to conceive. Six of them have already have the donations held in sperm banks within Israel, but have not been allowed to use them by the Department of Health, who told one of the women:
'Considering the number of women whom Mr Nagel impregnated with his sperm... it is our position that the claim of an intention to perform true joint parenthood with Mr Nagel is not sincere or reasonable.'
Nagel, known as 'the Sperminator' in his home city, donates his sperm for free, and intends to continue even though five US women who he donated to have sued him for child support. He also has three children with his wife.