Our Father True Story: What The Netflix Movie Leaves Out

Netflix’s Our Father tells the chilling true story of an infertility doctor who fathered over 94 children. The doctor in question, Donald Cline, secretly used his own sperm on unconsenting clients. The client’s husbands would provide sperm for the insemination procedure, but Dr. Donald Cline would discard it and replace it with his own to impregnate their wives. He would then destroy all records of the procedure to protect himself from a future investigation of his deceit. However, little did he know that DNA testing would soon become a popular trend, and at-home DNA tests would spell his doom, with the Netflix documentary telling the story of how his donor children eventually exposed the shocking truth.,Our Father shares the stories of the donor siblings fathered by Dr. Donald Cline and how a simple well-intentioned DNA test changed their lives forever. The story mainly focuses on Jacoba Ballard, the first sibling to investigate her ancestry. After learning her mother had conceived her through a donor insemination procedure, Jacoba became passionate about finding her biological father and potential half-siblings. Unbeknownst to her, she would soon uncover the dark hidden secret of Dr. Donald Cline’s appalling deception and unmask 94 (and counting) half-siblings.,Related: Our Father Updates: Where Is Donald Cline Now?,Netflix’s brutal documentary Our Father explores how Jacoba Ballard and her half-siblings worked together to expose Dr. Donald Cline’s wrongdoing which eventually led to his arrest in 2017. However, considering the absurdity that there is no written law that a doctor can’t use his own sperm to impregnate his clients without consent, he was only charged with obstruction of justice for lying to investigators, and he served no jail time. Our Father is largely accurate in the retelling of this harrowing true story and retains many of the essential details, but it doesn’t include everything. Here are the facts the documentary leaves out from the story of Dr. Donald Cline and his donor children.,Netflix’s true-crime documentary hinted at a similar trend among Dr. Donald Cline’s donor children – their parents had never told them they were conceived through insemination. However, what the documentary doesn’t delve into is why. Dr. Donald Cline explicitly advised his clients not to tell anyone they sought out help with their infertility. Cline exploited the taboo surrounding the practice at the time to hide the diabolically immoral abuse of his own practice. It was a specific directive that they should keep the fact they used a sperm donor secret and never tell their children how they were conceived. The patients he deceived thought they were receiving an expert’s opinion and trusted they were given the right advice.,Netflix’s chilling documentary Our Father was produced by horror film specialists Blumhouse Productions – who didn’t hold back delving into the horrific nature of this true story. Dr. Donald Cline’s specialty was fresh sperm rather than the frozen variety that other doctors used. Besides the egregious cases in which Dr. Donald Cline discarded his patient’s husband’s specimen for his own, some patients required a donor. In this case, Our Father confirms Cline lied to his clients that he would be using sperm from anonymous medical residents and that they wouldn’t use the same donor more than three times. The documentary stressed that Cline only ever used warm, fresh sperm, which is highly irregular when using an outside source donor. Typically, the volunteer donors produce their specimens in advance, and the sperm is frozen for future insemination use. In hindsight, the fact he only ever used warm sperm was an alarming red flag.,As Our Father notes, Cline was only charged with obstruction of justice in 2017 for lying about inseminating his clients with his own sperm. Even though he was found guilty, Donald Cline shockingly never went to jail and was simply made to pay a $500 fine. However, the documentary doesn’t state that he was also stripped of his medical license. This is perhaps due to the fact that the documentary creators felt it unnecessary to note, considering Cline had already retired back in 2009, and it held no weighted consequence for him.,Related: Pelé: The Biggest Things Netflix’s Documentary Leaves Out,Our Father confirms Dr. Donald Cline served no time in jail for his abhorrent violations, but he has dealt with several civil lawsuits since. Dr. Donald Cline and his group, Indianapolis Infertility, Inc., settled in three civil cases filed by three donor children’s families, and three other cases are pending. So far, more than $1.3 million has been paid in civil suits against the former Indiana fertility doctor. However, most of this was likely paid out through Cline’s malpractice insurance. As a qualified healthcare provider, he would be protected by the Medical Malpractice Act.,A resounding question many asked after watching the Netflix Original Our Father was why so many couples within a 25-mile radius of Indiana were infertile. While there isn’t much scientific data on Indiana specifically, a countrywide study suggests the fertility rate is plummeting at an alarming rate. Four decades ago, the average Western man had a sperm concentration of 99 million per milliliter. By 2011, that had fallen to 47.1 million. This drop is alarming because sperm concentrations below 40 million per milliliter are considered below normal and can impair fertility. As of 2022, nearly 9% of men of reproductive age in the United States have experienced fertility problems.,Our Father briefly mentions that 44 other infertility doctors have been caught using their own sperm to impregnate their clients. The HBO documentary Baby God tells the story of one of those doctors. Quincy Fortier was a fertility specialist based in Las Vegas who also used his sperm to inseminate his clients without their knowledge and may have fathered hundreds of children. Another similar story happened in the 1940s, when insemination was a fairly new concept. British infertility doctor, Bertold Wiesner, may have fathered over 600 children in a pioneer sperm donor program that he ran with his wife. This twisted practice seems to have been allowed to flourish from the start, and with no federal law strictly forbidding it, these doctors can keep getting away with it as shown on Our Father.,Next: Tinder Swindler True Story: Biggest Things The Documentary Leaves Out