Ancestry DNA testing might reveal that the guy who raised you wasn't your real Father, as you had previously assumed. As more people take DNA testing out of curiosity, more half-sibling matches will be discovered in your community.
The same thing happened to a group of Indianapolis men descended from the same man: fertility doctor Donald Cline, who was the grandfather of all of them. When doctors breach their patients' trust, it may have life-altering and disastrous consequences.
Unbeknownst to his patients, Cline was doing artificial insemination procedures on himself, allowing him to possibly Father, dozens of children. We now have “Our Father,” a Netflix documentary that attempts to expose his horrible past in the hopes of averting another incident like this.
Cline isn't the only doctor who cheated on their patients and had their crimes exposed by DNA testing. An upcoming HBO docuseries, “Baby God,” will follow Dr. Quincy Fortier, who did the same thing and fathered at least 26 children without their consent or knowledge.
Our Father Quick Facts
Our Father Trailer: A Fertility Doctor's Dark Secret
A top fertility doctor had a sickening secret: he was using his own sperm. Decades later, his “children” band together to pursue justice.
Our Father premieres May 11. https://t.co/MWbDtP7eTa
— Netflix (@netflix) April 14, 2022
Our Father Review
At that time, artificial insemination was a relatively new science, with much less regulation than now. A 1987 survey found that just 2% of doctors acknowledged using their sperm in reproductive procedures.
After the revelation of HIV transmission without freezing, fresh sperm became the standard, which makes the deceit all the more harrowing for those who these professionals tricked.
Those born to Cline's sperm must reconcile their sense of self with the facts about their biological Father, but the woman. Still, his reproductive treatments must also deal with the psychological scars left by his misuse of authority.
When asked in the trailer if his activities are linked to any specific crime, they concede that they are in some way sex crimes.
It's time to tell the tale of Cline's unexpected children, who have come together to help amend the law to protect other reproductive fraud victims better.
User Isabella Krissane says This show is quite enlightening since I believe most normal people would never even realize that this type of crime occurs.
This documentary was superbly directed; kudos. Secondly, how the story of this series of episodes was narrated had me holding my hair and dropping my jaw every time the number of Cline siblings increased.
And these are actual people living their lives; furthermore, the Quiverfull cult phenomenon is so filthy that it is revolting that it exists and that religious people lead it. It makes sense why people continue to reject religion; it has less to do with God and more to do with His disciples.
Devils like Dr. Cline are remorseless for destroying many lives and using the Bible to excuse themselves. As for the judge! The court proceedings rendered me mute.
Jacoba's query to Dr. Cline's supporters was a brilliant way to close the program.
The truth might have remained hidden if she had only resorted to threats.
This show demonstrates how “demons” in real life, such as Dr. Cline, can be far more frightening than any fictitious criminal we can concoct in our imaginations and how they can hide in the skin of average citizens.
The significance of DNA testing has therefore been demonstrated for all individuals.
This Isn't the First Time a Fertility Specialist Used His Sperm
Even after all these years, Netflix still manages to surprise us.
Netflix's upcoming documentary Our Father, premiere May 11, maybe the most bizarre. We've spent many hours on the couch—don't judge—watching true crime documentaries.
During his tenure as an Indianapolis fertility specialist, Donald Cline acknowledged using his sperm more than 50 times to conceive unsuspecting patients. When an at-home DNA test indicated that Jacoba Ballard had seven half-siblings, she began to piece together Cline's transgressions.
As soon as Ballard started communicating with her new relatives, the house of cards began to fall. According to Netflix, “when the gang set out to find more about their strange family tree, they quickly learned the awful reality.”
— Angela Ganote (@angelaganote) April 14, 2022
As a result, “their parents' fertility specialist had been secretly injecting his sperm into his patients without their consent.” The truth turned out to be far more sinister than the family had anticipated.
Because they've only just begun to unravel his web of falsehoods, Ballard and her newly-discovered siblings are at the center of a chilling tale of an unprecedented violation of trust, as the streamer put it.
Even more disturbing than Our Father is that it's merely the latest in a long series of documentaries with disturbingly identical content. In 2020, HBO will air Baby God, a documentary on fertility specialist Quincy Fortier, who used his sperm to inseminate patients throughout his 30-year career.
Baby God, on the other hand, portrayed the experiences of the children born due to Fortier's activities, as they sought answers about their pasts and the long-term effects on their families.
Seeds of Deceit, a Dutch docuseries about artificial insemination doctor Jan Karbaat, who claimed to have fathered nearly 200 children by using his sperm in patients, premiered last year.
Monique Busman, a co-producer on Seeds of Deceit, thinks the issue exists today, particularly abroad. “People can no longer give anonymously due to a change in the law passed in 2004, yet there is no central database to track these donations.
The number of clinics where potential donors may donate remains high “Tells Variety, Busman. “Additionally, the private sector offers donors the option to gift online without needing a centralized registry.
A man in the Netherlands just had 250 children. He's making donations to women's charities over the internet. It's a cautionary tale highlighting what might happen if there aren't enough regulations and rules.”
Cline was arrested in 2017 on two charges of obstruction of justice for lying to officials about artificially inseminating patients, which is the focus of the new documentary.
“I was terrified. With profound sorrow, I beg for your pity and compassion on my behalf. In my haste, I made a mistake and lied, and I'm sorry, “he stated back then.
Cline was never imprisoned. Since retiring in 2009, Cline has been unable to seek the restoration of his medical license in 2018.
Our Father comes on Netflix on May 11 and tells the actual tale of Dr. Cline and the family he permanently changed.
Is Our Father Based on a True Story?
Although the guy you see in the video is probably not the actual Dr. Donald Cline, and some of the incidents in the clip undoubtedly look staged, re-enacted, or exaggerated, the narrative itself is too true.
This photo, taken in 2007 by a reporter for the Indianapolis Star, shows Cline as a practicing physician.
During the 1970s and 1980s, he created a reproductive clinic in Indiana, where he admitted to using his sperm in donations, which resulted in at least 50 offspring. DNA testing at home and on social media helped these half-siblings find one another.
Six met Cline at a restaurant in a meeting arranged by Cline's natural-born son.
What Happened to Dr. Donald Cline?
While Cline was 79 at the time of his plea agreement in December 2017 to two felonies for lying to investigators about using his sperm at a fertility clinic, he was still eligible for parole. He was sentenced to a year in prison, but it was suspended. Thus he did not serve any time behind bars.
At the time, there was no state statute criminalizing the doctor's activities, but after this case came to light, Indiana did pass a law criminalizing reproductive fraud. In 2018, Cline, who had stopped practicing medicine in 2009, handed over his Indiana medical license.