New DNA tests suggest the owner of a British fertility clinic may have fathered as many as 600 children, while keeping his donations a secret.
The Telegraph reports that Bertold Wiesner and his wife operated a fertility clinic in the 1940s and were responsible for helping more than 1,500 families conceive. Two of the children conceived through clinic donations, Barry Stevens and David Gollancz, took part in DNA testing that revealed both were conceived using Wiesner’s sperm.
Stevens told the Toronto Star that because of the donations he might have as many as 1,000 relatives he has never met. In addition, the Star reports that Austrian-born Wiesner was a “Communist sympathizer,” who belonged to a club of “left-wing biologists” who supporter experimental medical techniques.
“It was very much the era of eugenics,” Stevens, now 59, told the Star. “People on the left supported that, too, not just on the right.” The Daily Mail reports that the British House of Lords once described Wiesner’s work as “the work of Beelzebub.”
“They felt that very talented people should spread their genes, and less talented people should be discouraged from spreading their genes,” Stevens said.
Eugenics is the work of Beelzebub for sure.
Think about that. Have you ever noticed how much supposedly unrelated people look alike? I sure have. Especially with the advent of matching agencies that do compatibility testing to link people up in such a way as they would never meet otherwise, it could very well happen that two people could marry who have the same DNA. Even in advertising of successful matching, the couples many times look so much alike as to be related. And they would certainly be “compatible.”
Just weird to think about. What do we know about fertility clinics anyway and what, if any, laws apply to them?
This article says that in the UK, the number of donations are limited to 10 per person, but that no such limitation exists in the US. Of course, this is not even taking into consideration instances such as this where one man surrepticiously supplied his own sperm over a span of over 20 years.
Wiesner died in the early ’70s and his wife, Mary Barton, destroyed all the records.
Barry Stevens holding a photo of Bertold Wiesner
Posted: 04.11.12 @ 10:52 a.m.