Sticky situation

Sperm donor who sired 33 kids says Israel banned his seed

‘Sperminator’ Ari Nagel accuses Health Ministry of preventing Israeli women from bearing children using his samples

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Ari Nagel visits the Tel Aviv port, June 27, 2017. (Renee Ghert-Zand/TOI)
Ari Nagel visits the Tel Aviv port, June 27, 2017. (Renee Ghert-Zand/TOI)

A Jewish American man who has fathered dozens of children through sperm donations has accused the Health Ministry of banning Israelis from using his seed.

According to the New York Post on Saturday, there are seven Israeli women waiting to use sperm donated by Ari Nagel, a mathematics professor, who has earned the tabloid nickname, “The Sperminator.”

Six samples have already been stored at sperm facilities in the country, but the prospective mothers are not able to use them, due to ministry restrictions, the report said.

A seventh woman who in December paid for Nagel’s ticket to fly to Israel had her plans foiled when a private sperm clinic destroyed his sample, shortly after he handed it over.

“There’s a do-not-donate list, and I’m the only one on the list,” lamented Nagel, 42, who has three children within his marriage and another 30 from sperm donations,

Nagel said an employee at the private Israeli clinic told him his sample was destroyed, as they were not permitted to store it. He claimed the clinic realized who he was and informed authorities, who then ordered them to dispose of the sample.

Women seek out ‘Sperminator’ Ari Nagel for his tall stature, blue eyes, and high sperm count. (Facebook)

In a letter to the would-be mother, the Health Ministry explained that Israeli sperm banks were not allowed to collect Nagel’s sperm and that all facilities had been alerted of this directive. The woman has sued for the right to use his sperm and the case is to be heard by the High Court of Justice.

Nagel faces two bureaucratic hurdles in the Israeli system. Under Israeli law, sperm donation must be anonymous, with neither donor nor recipient knowing the other’s identity. Nagel’s notoriety makes him unsuitable, but the prospective mothers argue that his reputation is what makes him so sought after in Israel, the New York Post reported.

If the donor signs that he will co-parent the child, then the donor and recipients can be acquainted. Nagel had signed such paperwork with that would-be mother — as he did with the six other women who have frozen his sperm in Israel at the cost of some $1,400 a year.

But the Health Ministry said it does not accept Nagel’s claim that he is serious about being an active father. One of the women received a letter saying, “considering the number of women whom Mr. Nagel impregnated with his sperm… it is our position that the claim of an intention to perform true joint parenthood with Mr. Nagel is not sincere or reasonable.”

“They’re banning my sperm,” said Nagel, adding that the other six Israeli women waiting to use his samples “cry to me all the time.””

Most of his other donations were made in the New York area. Of his 33 offspring, seven children were born last year, and another 10 are on the way.

Sometimes, he has had sexual relations with the women. In other instances, he has provided sperm donations at the women’s homes, or accompanied them to doctors’ offices, IVF clinics, or cryobanks to produce specimens. There have even been occasions, as reported in the press, when Nagel has ejaculated into menstrual cups in public men’s restrooms and handed them off to women who inserted them into their vaginas in nearby public women’s bathrooms.

It is not the first time that Nagel’s siring services have run into legal complications. In 2016, the New York State Health Department ordered Nagel to get a “tissue banking activities” license because of his donations, the New York Post reported at the time.

Renee Ghert-Zand contributed to this report.

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