A judge in the U.K. disclosed the name of the sperm donor who advertised his services on social media targeting lesbians without informing them he had a genetic condition.
James MacDougall, 37, fathered fifteen children even though he knew that he has fragile-X syndrome.
The genetic disorder causes developmental delays, learning, and intellectual disabilities, as well as social and behavior problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Judge Nathalie Lieven revealed MacDougall’s identity and actions in family court Monday.
MacDougall had also asked for visitation with four of the children he fathered although he previously signed paperwork stating that he did not wish to have contact with some of the children that he’d fathered.
Three of the mothers argued against MacDougall’s attempts to have a relationship with their children, who are between a few months old to three years old.
On Monday, Judge Nathalie Lieven ruled against MacDougall, denying him parental privilege and responsibility.
Lieven said she had named MacDougall to make other women aware of what he’s done and stop them from using him as a sperm donor.
The judge said, “ a benefit in him being named is the hope that women will look him up on the internet and see this judgment.”
“The usual approach of anonymity in the family courts should not be used as a way for parents to behave in an unacceptable manner and then hide behind the cloak of anonymity,” she said.
Court proceedings revealed that MacDougall chose to be a sperm donor even though his condition kept him from donating through a regular clinic.
In some legal agreements, MacDougall does list his condition, but without explaining it.
“Although the agreement does refer to fragile-X, [MacDougall] took no steps to explain the condition to [the women] and no steps to ensure they understood. [He] took advantage of these young women’s vulnerability and their strong desire to have children,” Lieven said in her ruling. “This failure to take responsibility for his own condition and to have any apparent concern for the long-term impact both on the mothers and potentially the children is a factor in concluding that [he] should not be given parental responsibility for the children.”
MacDougall was arrested after attacking one of the mothers whose daughter has developmental delays.
In another court, MacDougall was granted visitation with one of the children he fathered, however, the child returned home from visiting MacDougall with non-accidental bruises, Lieven said. The judge has postponed the case pending a social services report.
Additionally, Lieven ruled that MacDougall may not petition the court again for three years, noting that it would be a traumatic experience for the mothers.