If you’ve been watching Netflix recently, you might have noticed a film called Our Father among the top ten. The plot centers around a former fertility specialist who is accused of inseminating dozens of his patients without their permission.
Donald Cline, an Indiana-based doctor, would invite his patients to his service to help them become pregnant, typically utilizing donor sperm or sperm from their husband or partner. On the other hand, Cline exchanged his own sperm for donor sperm in at least 94 cases, a significant breach of trust and horrifying act of medical sexual assault, as his patients consented to this.
Is Netflix’s Our Father based on a true story?
Our Father, unfortunately, is based on a true story. The documentary focuses on Jacoba Ballard, one of Cline’s children. One day, Jacoba bought an ancestry DNA kit and discovered that she was related to seven half-siblings she had never met before.
After some investigation, Jacoba determined that they could all be traced back to Donald Cline. As frightening as that is, the first group came together and began to unearth other ties to over 90 siblings.
Worse, Cline was never penalized for his actions since there was no rule or regulation governing fertility fraud during his offenses. Cline was only charged with impeding justice on two Level 6 charges for lying on documents.
He was fined $500 and had his medical license permanently revoked, even though he had been retired for several years at the time. So, in essence, he only received a smack on the wrist. According to the video, Indiana has made fertility fraud a felony since then, but there is still no federal law prohibiting the crime.