Keith Boyle as Donald Cline in 'Our Father'
Source: Netflix

Dr. Donald Cline Received a One-Year Probation Sentence a Few Years Ago

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May. 12 2022, Published 12:42 p.m. ET

An explosive documentary on Netflix takes a new look at the life and work of Dr. Donald Cline, an Indiana University graduate who opened his infamous fertility clinic in Indianapolis, Ind., in 1979.

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Including appearances by Jacoba Ballard, Kristy Killion, and other donor babies who learned that they share Cline's sperm thanks to the DNA testing made available by providers like 23andMe and Ancestry.com, Our Father takes another look at Cline's wrongdoings. But where is he now? What happened to Dr. Donald Cline?

Keith Boyle as Donald Cline in 'Our Father'
Source: Netflix
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What happened to Dr. Donald Cline? Why did he never go to jail?

A sought-after fertility specialist, Dr. Donald Cline enjoyed a great deal of popularity — at least until the first reports detailing his professional wrongdoings came out. The subject of a 2016 documentary by True Crime Daily, Donald ultimately garnered notoriety for using his sperm to fertilize dozens of women — according to one estimate, he might have fathered between 50 and 94 children — between 1979 and 1986.

Donald retired in 2009. In 2014, Jacoba Ballard took a DNA test that put her on path to uncovering the sheer magnitude of Donald's misdoings. Although she was told that she was a donor baby at age 10, she only started learning about her half-siblings in her 30s. Jacoba joined online forums for adoptees and donor-conceived children — which turned out to be extremely eye-opening.

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Donald Cline was convicted on two counts of obstructing justice in September 2016.

Donald was charged with two counts of obstructing justice in September 2016. He received a sentence of one year on probation. He lost his medical license, though he retired several years before the court case.

It's understood that he was convicted because he attempted to halt an investigation and failed to tell the truth to the investigators working on his case. He was fined $500 and $185 worth of court fees.

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Keith Boyle as Donald Cline in 'Our Father'
Source: Netflix

Although he could have deceived as many as 94 women into thinking that they received sperm donated by actual donors, he managed to walk away free.

Thanks, in part, to the public backlash Donald received, the state of Indiana introduced more stringent laws in 2019.

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Other donor babies like Cheryl Rousseau, who discovered that her father was a fertility specialist named Dr. John Coates III after using a DNA test, had a great deal more success in court. Cheryl was awarded $5 million in punitive and $250,000 in compensatory damages by a Vermont jury in March 2022.

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Donald Cline was closely associated with the Zionsville Fellowship Church in Zionsville, Ind.

Frequently hailed as a pillar of the community, Donald first discovered religion during his college studies. He likely became a church elder at the Zionsville Fellowship Church in Zionsville, Ind. later on in his life.

His wrongdoings became the subject of several exposes, including an April 2019 article published by The Atlantic and a May 2019 piece by Indianapolis Monthly. It's not immediately clear if the Zionsville Fellowship Church ever decided to publicly distance themselves from him.

It's unclear how the new Netflix documentary, Our Father, is bound to impact Donald, his wife, Susie, and the two kids he shares with Susie, Donna and Doug. Let's hope Our Father will bring relief to the victims of his unethical deeds.

Our Father is available on Netflix now.

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