Who is Doctor Donald Cline and what did he do? Netflix documentary Our Father explores chilling details of fertility fraud

Our Father is set to premiere on Netflx on May 11, 2022 ( Image Via Netflix/ Our Father)
Our Father is set to premiere on Netflx on May 11, 2022 ( Image Via Netflix/ Our Father)

Our Father tells the story of Donald Cline, a once-famous fertility doctor from Indiana, who swapped donated sperm for his own, resulting in the birth of scores of his own children without his patients' consent or knowledge. He is said to have at least 50 biological offspring, and maybe up to 90.

The documentary is narrated from the perspective of Donald Cline's now-grown children, who were unaware of his crimes when he committed them. They reveal the shocking scope of his fraud, which has been amplified by the recent boom in family-tree DNA testing websites.

With the Netflix documentary Our Father all set to premiere on May 11, let's take a look into who Cline is and his whereabouts.


Who is Donald Cline and what did he do?

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Donald Cline was considered one of the greatest infertility specialists in Indianapolis throughout 1970s to 1990s. During this time, expectant parents rushed to Cline's clinic, hoping to have their own kid.

But Cline, without his patients' knowledge or agreement, used his own sperm to inseminate them, Donald Cline fathered at least 50 children in the '70s and '80s- some of whom would subsequently link and expose his deception decades later.


Where is Donald Cline now?

Once the issue started unraveling, he offered no explanation for his conduct, and it's unlikely he ever expected the truth to emerge (a deception that occurred decades before DNA testing became available). The victims filed a complaint with Indiana's attorney general about Cline's activities, which led to a criminal inquiry.

Unfortunately, there were no state laws that could criminalize Cline's crimes, and his victims struggled for decades to receive justice. In 2009, the disgraced physician left his practice. According to Netflix, he was ultimately convicted on two felony counts of hindering the investigation and lying to authorities about using his own sperm.

Cline finally surrendered his license to the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana in 2018, which also voted to prevent him from ever regaining it. He was then handed a one-year suspended sentence for two counts of obstruction of justice, and no more charges were brought against him because Indiana law did not expressly prohibit reproductive specialists from using their own sperm. Cline is now in his 80s and has served no time for his misdeeds.

Cline has kept a low profile since then, and his exact location and what he is up to are not known.

Our Father is all set to premiere on Netflix on May 11, 2022.

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