created about 1 year ago | Tagged:
The biologist Bertold Wiesner set up a fertility clinic for high IQ donors in London in the 1940s, helping women conceive 1,500 babies before he died in 1972. But what he did not tell those using his clinic was that he was the clinic's major donor, likely making some 20 donations a year. The clinic's records were destroyed by his wife years ago, but preliminary DNA testing of 18 people conceived at the clinic indicates up to 600 babies could have been fathered by Wiesner over the years, reports the Telegraph.
Two men conceived at the clinic, Barry Stevens a film-maker from Canada and David Gollancz, a barrister in London, have researched the centre and DNA tests suggest Mr Wiesner, an Austrian biologist, provided two thirds of the donated sperm. Such a practice is outlawed now but at the time it was not known that Mr Wiesner was providing the majority of the samples.
DNA tests were conducted on 18 people conceived at the clinic between 1943 and 1962. The results showed that two thirds of them were fathered by Mr Wiesner. Extrapolating this to the rest of the children conceived at the clinic it would suggest around 600 of the children were Mr Wiesner’s. Mr Gollancz told the Sunday Times: “A conservative estimate is that he would have been making 20 donations a year.
The limit is set as families, rather than the number of children, so parents can choose the same donor for a second or third sibling without being told that donor has reached his limit.