True crime documentaries release on Netflix almost every week. However, Our Father brings forth something that is beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. Taking advantage of someone when they are the most vulnerable and then using them for whatever disgusting reason for your own gain is beyond disgusting– and one of these people is Donald Cline. The documentary is cruel, disturbing and very shocking.
The Indiana doctor, who was once a well-known face in infertility treatment circles, has fathered over 94 children (and counting!) according to the latest Netflix documentary that deals with the story from the point of view of the victims. Jacoba Ballard’s initial discovery and subsequent quest to find all of her half-siblings and bring Cline to justice form the crux of the story, along with bringing to the world how horrible human beings can be.
Who is Donald Cline?
A fertility doctor from Indianapolis, Indiana, Donald Cline is the person you went to if you had issues with conception in the 70s and 80s. Cline specialised in “fresh sperm” treatments; meaning he used to get sperm directly from medical students and inseminated his patients right after (or so he claimed). With DNA testing not a thing at that time, and won’t be till 1984, Cline thought he got off scot-free – add to that the taboo surrounding fertility issues in general during the time and you have a recipe for disaster, something that came true for Jacoba Ballard and her almost 100 siblings.
The man apparently obtained his own “fresh sperm” in the bathroom right beside his unsuspecting patients and then inseminated his patients without their knowledge or consent. In a lot of cases, he even outright lied to them, telling them that the sperm belonged to their husbands!
Did Donald Cline Serve Jail Time?
After watching the documentary, you would feel some sort of a mixture of rage and disgust. You would also want justice for these people who were never given an option to choose – almost all share autoimmune diseases thanks to Cline, a reason why he probably wouldn’t have been able to donate sperm in the first place. However, sadly, Cline was never brought to justice. After 2 years of working tirelessly for some kind of respite, Ballard and her siblings took Cline to court on charges of hindering the investigation and of lying about using his own sperm.
Unfortunately, he was only charged $500, a one-year suspended sentence and lost his license in 2018, a joke considering he was already retired in 2009. He was not given any sort of a sentence for what he did, authorities didn’t catch him for anything. The most shocking part though? There is no federal rule that prohibits doctors from using their own sperm for insemination.
The only silver lining here is that in 2018, the mothers and siblings successfully passed legislation in Indiana making illicit donor inseminations illegal. Plus, thanks to at-home DNA testing, 44 additional doctors were found to be doing such a heinous act. Of course, Cline was the most prolific of the lot.
What is Donald Cline Doing Now?
In his 80s now, Cline is a free man. He was never charged for his disgraceful activities and lives a quiet life now, so not much is known about him.
But, we hope that those who went through tremendous heartache because of him get some justice.
Watch the Our Father Trailer Here:
Our Father is streaming on Netflix.Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.