Our Father is a Netflix documentary that premiered in May 2022 about the peculiar case of Dr. Donald Cline, an Indiana fertility specialist. According to Time, Cline inseminated dozens of patients with his sperm in the 1970s and 1980s. This happened without the patient’s knowledge or consent. He has fathered at least 94 biological children with these women.
The documentary film features interviews with parents and their children, as well as the siblings’ path towards discovering the truth. The news first surfaced when Jacoba Ballard decided to look into her ancestry in 2014. She accidentally stumbled upon the dark secret about her 94 (and still counting) half-siblings.
Netflix’s Our Father exposes the notorious Dr. Donald Cline
Our Father on Netflix tells the story of Jacoba Ballard, who knew she had been conceived via donor sperm but decided to look into her ancestry in 2014. She took an at-home DNA test and initially learned about even half-siblings. Then Ballard and her siblings soon discovered the dark secret of their parents’ fertility specialist, Dr. Donald Cline. The number of confirmed siblings continued to rise as people continued to add their DNA to 23andMe’s database. At the time of filming, there were 94 children and counting.
Esquire reported that Cline never faced charges for committing the horrific act. Reportedly, there was no law in the state against such a practice. Prosecutors, however, charged him with two counts of obstruction of justice in 2016. These charges stemmed from the lies he fed to the attorney general’s office when they inquired about his activities. He received a year of probation, lost his medical license, and paid a fine of $5000. His trial took place in December 2017, when there were only 22 known half-siblings. The number gradually increased.
One of Cline’s known children, Heather Woock told Women’s Health, “We find new siblings regularly, especially after major holidays because DNA testing kits are big gifts. We just had Mother’s Day last weekend, so I’m sure that even just as a result of that, we’ll find another sibling or two.” Elsewhere, Jacoba says it’s a “sick feeling” every time she finds new relatives.
Our Father is now streaming on Netflix.