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HFEA statement: Netflix series ‘The Man With 1000 Kids’

The HFEA website has links to organisations who can help those who may be impacted by the issues raised in the forthcoming series.

Rachel Cutting, Director of Compliance and Information at the HFEA, said:

“We appreciate that this series may be stressful and upsetting for the families of some donor-conceived children. Families may want to access specialist support such as counselling, and our website lists a number of organisations who can help. Patients can also access further support through the clinic’s counselling service.

“There are laws and guidance relating to donation in the UK. The ‘10 family limit’ guidance restricts the number of families that can be created with a single donor in any UK licensed clinic. This means that any donor used by a patient in the UK cannot be used once this limit is reached and we would expect this to be adhered to in the UK.

“Clinics must also ensure that any donor sperm or eggs imported into the UK adheres to the 10-family limit. However, the UK rule does not apply in the country they donated in so there is a chance that there could be many more families created overseas. The HFEA has no remit over donation outside of HFEA licensed clinics and there would be no monitoring of how many times a donor is used in these circumstances.

“The laws around donation also prevent us from being able to tell parents who their child’s donor is, even in a situation such as this. The law only allows donor conceived individuals to apply to find out identifying information about their donor, if they wish to, when they reach 18.

“The reason we set limits on the number of families a donor can help create is that we know through consultation this is the level which donors and donor-conceived people feel comfortable with in terms of the numbers of potential donor-conceived children, half-siblings and families that might be created.

“We would strongly encourage anyone considering using donor sperm to have treatment at a HFEA licensed clinic. UK clinics are required by law to ensure that donors, patients and any future children are protected by carrying out rigorous health tests, ensuring legal parenthood consents are in place and offering everyone involved counselling.”


Review date: 7 June 2026