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Our Father Updates: Where Is Donald Cline Now? | Screen Rant

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The central figure of Netflix’s documentary Our Father is the infamous Indianapolis-based former fertility doctor Donald Cline – here’s where he is now. Our Father documents the heinous actions of Cline, who used his own sperm to impregnate his patients without their consent or awareness and, in turn, engaged in a slew of ethical violations. As of Our Father’s release, there are 94 documented Cline siblings and counting, most of whom live within the Indianapolis metro. This results in the added serious issue of consanguinity, in which the likelihood rises of people not knowing that they’re genetically related end up dating, marrying, or having children together. Furthermore, by Cline circumventing the stringent donor health screening, he spread genetic health issues to his offspring. Thanks to the commercial DNA testing kit 23andMe, Cline’s actions came to light.

While Blumhouse is more known for its horror movies, the upsetting nature of this story still makes it apt for the production company to handle. Our Father brings up the horrifying issue of fertility fraud that’s only now being acknowledged in-depth, with the documentary reporting that at-home DNA testing has exposed up to 44 more doctors committing the same crimes as Cline. While DNA testing has been around for decades, it’s only been within the last 20 years that at-home DNA kits were made available. It’s important and, thankfully, easier than ever to expose the issue of illicit insemination. However, this means that Cline’s victims are continuously being retraumatized by his actions as they discover more of his offspring, who in turn experience their own devastation from the news. 

Related: How Catching Killers Differs From Other True Crime Shows

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Thanks to the bravery of whistleblowers like Jacoba Ballard and Fox59 news anchor Angela Ganote, Donald Cline’s story gained enough prominence to become one of Netflix’s many true crime documentaries. Through Our Father, the full scope of the trauma and danger caused by Cline’s actions can begin to be addressed. However, Donald Cline is still alive and around his community despite the severity of his transgressions.

Donald Cline is, surprisingly, a free man who remains active in his community despite the harm he caused to hundreds of people. In 2017, he was brought to trial on the grounds of obstructing justice. He was charged with two Level 6 felonies, which is the lowest felony level to be given, and was given a $500 fine, a complete suspended sentence, and the irredeemable loss of his medical license. The medical license loss is moot, however, because Cline retired from his practice in 2009. Still, it’s a step forward that Netflix’s Our Father is exposing Cline’s story to millions (even if Netflix is losing subscribers). The exposure of his story is necessary to help rectify this growing problem in fertility care, and Our Father gives a voice to Cline’s victims.

His actions were egregiously unethical and bring forth serious risks to the area’s gene pool, yet Donald Cline received no jail time. At the time of his sentencing, Indiana did not have any legislation regarding crimes involving illicit inseminations, which has since changed in the state thanks to activism and a rallying outcry against Cline’s sentencing. While Donald Cline was charged with a felony, his extremely low-level sentencing could perhaps be attributed to his community involvement and the fact that it was his first felony offense. Even though Indiana law now deems his illicit insemination actions illegal, he has not been tried on those counts. Meanwhile, watching Our Father and any other updates Netflix might reveal about his story, listening to victims and whistleblowers, and speaking up for legislation illegalizing fertility fraud in the United States could bring justice to doctors exposed for committing this crime.

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Next: Why True Crime Show Fans Should Watch More Documentaries

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