London: A leading British scientist is believed to have fathered up to 600 children by donating sperm at his own fertility clinic between the early 1940s and the mid-1960s, a media report said.
Bertold Wiesner, who died in 1972, may have been one of the primary donors for the London-based Barton Clinic, which helped women conceive around 1,500 babies, between the early 1940s and the mid-1960s.
This staggering claim has been made by two men conceived at the clinic who discovered that they are his biological sons, the 'Daily Mail' reported.
Documentary maker Barry Stevens from Canada and London -based barrister David Gollancz tracked down 18 other people conceived at the clinic and found that 12, two thirds of those tested, were also fathered by Dr Wiesner.
From the results, Stevens and Gollancz argue that Wiesner must have fathered as many as 600 children.
"A conservative estimate is that he would have been making 20 donations a year. Using standard figures for number of live births which result, including allowances for twins and miscarriages, I estimate he is responsible for between 300 and 600 children," Gollancz told 'The Sunday Times' newspaper.
If Wiesner did father 600 children, it would beat all previous records -- with an anonymous American sperm donor who fathered 150 children currently being the highest known figure, the report said.
Story first published:
April 08, 2012 17:04 IST