In Netflix’s true-crime documentary “Our Father,” a woman named Jacoba Ballard discovers one day that her family history isn’t what she thought it was. After running an ancestry test, she learns that she has several half-siblings. Knowing that her parents had used an infertility doctor to conceive, she got to work trying to uncover how she was related to so many people. After doing a lot of digging, Ballard learned that her mother’s infertility doctor, Don Cline, inseminated her mother with his own sperm without her knowledge — which meant her half-siblings were also likely his biological children.
Ballard pursued legal action against Cline when it became clear to her and her siblings she’d contacted that none of their mothers knew the doctor had apparently used his own specimen for insemination. However, she continued to run into roadblocks that prevented Cline from experiencing any repercussions. As she continued to pursue the matter, she learned of more and more half-siblings — all seemingly biological children of Cline’s.
In the Netflix documentary, Ballard and her siblings reveal that Cline said there was no way there were more than a few siblings. But his story changed: there couldn’t be more than 10,15, or 18, he said. As the film draws to a close, viewers are introduced to sibling #61: a twin born to one of Cline’s friends. In the final moments of the documentary, it’s revealed that as of production on “Our Father,” Cline is known to have fathered at least 94 children from his insemination practices — and that that number is most likely not final.
While Ballard and her half-siblings demanded punishment for Cline for inseminating their mothers without telling them that it was his own specimen, he was only ever charged with two felony counts of obstruction of justice for lying to investigators, according to local news station Fox 59. He was placed on probation and given a $500 fine, but despite the siblings’ wishes, no charges of rape or battery were ever brought.
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