One of Britain’s most prolific sperm donors claims he has fathered more than 800 children
Simon Watson has been donating his sperm for 16 years, unlicensed and once a week.
The 41-year-old from Luton in Bedfordshire sells his semen on Facebook for just £50 a pot and has earned around £40,000 for his efforts.
Simon has two sons of his own, aged 19 and 17, from his first marriage and a 10-year-old daughter from his second.
Speaking about his business Watson said: “My friends and family know everything about what I do, I’ve got no secrets.
“My kids’ mates at school think it’s funny. My boys wouldn’t do it themselves, but they’ve said they don’t mind me doing it.”
Simon’s donations currently fall outside the regulations laid down by the Human Fertilisation And Embryology Authority, which governs licensed sperm banks.
Speaking on the Victoria Derbyshire programme he added: “I always do it artificially – I have a plastic pot with a sterile sealed syringe for them to inseminate with. I hand over the pot and do a runner, and just leave them to get on with it.
“I usually have a kid pop out somewhere every couple of weeks at least, usually more often.”
According to NHS figures, around 1,300 babies are born each year in the UK from donated sperm.
Last year it was reported that Britain’s only national sperm bank in Birmingham has just nine donors.
It was set up in 2014 as a partnership between the National Gamete Donation Trust and Birmingham Women’s Hospital and funded with a one off award of £77,000.
It was created to counter a serious shortage in sperm donors in the UK.
Chief Executive Laura Witjens has said: “Nine donors at this stage can help 90 families, which is 90 families who otherwise would have had to go abroad”.
Ms Witjens added that it could take five years before the sperm bank has enough donors to meet demand.
Rules on anonymity in the UK were changed in 2005 to allow any child born after that time the right to trace their biological father when they turned 18.
No case has yet been brought, as the first opportunity for an 18-year-old to trace a donor father from 2005 would be in 2023.
For more information on sperm donors visit: www.nhs.uk