Is he hiding because there's a crowd of not-pregnant women chasing him?
(via Ed Houben/Facebook)
Good genes aren't all about looks. Hey may have been a virgin until age 34 (he's 44 now), but Ed Houben of Maastricht, in the Netherlands, sure made up for lost time. He's now the proud father of 98 children scattered throughout Europe with dozens of different mothers.
According to the BBC, Houben had a long career as an anonymous donor for Dutch sperm banks (by day he's actually a tour guide), but after the Netherlands banned anonymous sperm donation, he turned to offering very not-anonymous sperm donation to couples with fertility problems, single women and lesbian couples. Oh, and he charges nothing and there's no contract. He just fathers kids (and takes it on good faith that he won't be sued for child support—he used to get contracts but his lawyers told them they'd never hold up anyway) and trusts that he won't be screwed in return.
Before you think Houben has just tricked the world, consider that many EU countries have banned anonymous sperm donation, and the insemination procedures offered by fertility clinics cost thousands of dollars and often don't work. Says Houben, "People probably think it's 'oh he has sex without responsibility,' but usually I'm the only person people can talk to if [fertility treatment] doesn't work."
While a sperm count of 20 million or below means the chances of fertilization are low (as with the couples he helps), Houben's count stands at a robust 100 million. He has, he says, an 80% success rate. Potential donor recipients can find him on websites like Spermaspender.
Son, you see the man lurking behind the tree? He's your real father. And everyone else's.
(via Ed Houben/Facebook)
The mother of his most recent (98th) child, a 28-year-old nurse from Germany, explains another reason why people seek him out: "I am single. I have long waited to have a child but I could never find the right man. So after six years I started looking for [someone like] Ed."
Asked about jealous husbands, Ed explained that after years of fertility treatments, couples would drive over 1,000 miles to stay for several days and receive his "assistance." At a certain point, he said "They are beyond those feelings of 'ooh there's a stranger sleeping with my wife'."
When asked if he would like to find his own woman to impregnate and actually be with, he said of course, and that naturally he would stop filling Europe with his progeny. And then he hesitated, and said maybe he could only do it for women who already have a child of his and want a sibling.
(by Johnny McNulty)