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The Immaculate Deception

PRESS RELEASE — March 18, 2020

In the 1980s, Dutch fertility doctor Jan Karbaat was renowned for his successful results at his Rotterdam clinic. That was until, it was discovered that he’d been using his own sperm to inseminate his patients without their knowledge or consent.

In this new 9-part podcast series, The Immaculate Deception, reporter Jenny Kleeman meets the children he conceived and the people he deceived.

There are now more than 60 confirmed children of Jan Karbaat in The Netherlands. Every month or so, a new child of Karbaat joins the family. This is a shocking case, but it’s not extraordinary. Jenny has discovered ten other cases of doctors using their own sperm to inseminate their patients, just as Karbaat did. What sort of doctor would do this to his patients and why?

In a case that we instinctively feel is criminal, yet isn’t breaking any criminal law, Jenny explores what kind of crime this is. An assault on the mothers? Fraud? Who is the victim? The children, conceived by fraud and denied an identity? Or the mothers, who consented to be inseminated with donor sperm?

This story is emerging as the first generation of donor conceived babies are reaching adulthood; and at a time when we give each other DNA test kits for Christmas.

As fertility rates decline, as we delay becoming parents and as the definition of family becomes broader, we often depend on fertility doctors at our most vulnerable.

This is the story of the fertility specialist who used his own sperm to get his patients pregnant. It’s the story of the mothers who were duped into carrying their doctors babies and those babies discovering that they were the product of one of the biggest medical frauds Europe has ever known.


The Immaculate Deception is available weekly on Apple, Spotify and all podcast providers from 18th March.

About Somethin’ Else

Somethin’ Else is the UK’s largest independent podcast and audio producer releasing its own podcasts as well as shows for the BBC, Netflix, Audible and Spotify. Its hit shows include David Tennant Does A Podcast With…, The Sun King with David Dimbleby, Tom Neenan is Not All Men and Unheard: The Fred and Rose West Tapes. As well as audio, Somethin’ Else also houses significant social media and TV teams producing content for clients such as the BBC, Sky, The BRIT Awards, The Economist and Red Bull.

About Jenny Kleeman

Jenny Kleeman is a journalist and documentary-maker. She writes for the Guardian, Tortoise, the Times and Sunday Times. She has reported for BBC One’s Panorama, Channel 4's Dispatches and VICE News Tonight on HBO, as well as making 13 films from across the globe for Channel 4's Unreported World. Her first book, Sex Robots & Vegan Meat is published by Picador in July 2020.

This is a press release which we link to from our daily newsletter about podcasting and on-demand. This is reprinted verbatim; we may rewrite headlines and descriptions. Press releases can be sent to


The Immaculate Deception
By Somethin' Else

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