"Our Father": Viewers react to horrifying Netflix documentary about criminal fertility doctor

May 17 2022, 7:42 pm

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

People have been watching Our Father, the disturbing true-crime documentary from Netflix — and viewers have some thoughts.

The documentary starts with Jacoba Ballard, a 35-year-old from Indiana. Ballard knew she was conceived using donor sperm, so she decided to take a genealogical DNA test to see if she had any half-siblings.

She didn’t expect to uncover a decades-old crime that would lead to her finding more half-siblings than she expected.

It turns out her mother’s fertility doctor, Donald Cline, had been using his sperm to impregnate his patients without their consent.

The documentary comes in the wake of a draft leak that revealed that the US Supreme Court had voted to reverse Roe v. Wade, a 1973 ruling that allows women to get an abortion legally.

And viewers are unnerved by the timeliness of the documentary.

And because of DNA kits, more people are discovering doctors just like Cline. According to the documentary, there are currently 43 other doctors who have been found to have used their own sperm to inseminate their patients.


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Thanks to the mothers and siblings, illicit donor insemination has been illegal in Indiana since 2018; however, there is currently no federal law that protects other women.

“I don’t deny that there was a sexual violation, but legally there’s just no crime that touches this particular act,” said Tim Delaney, former prosecutor of Marion County, Indiana.

Ballard continues to fight for justice for herself, her siblings, and other women. And despite pleas and threats from Cline, she refuses to back down.

“He wants me to keep quiet, but I will never back down,” said Ballard. “I will fight to expose all of your secrets.”

Because of Cline, Ballard and her siblings find themselves in the impossible situation of having to be the bearers of bad news.

“Every time that a new sibling pops up, I know that I’m going to call them, and I know that I’m going to ruin their life,” said Ballard.

Irish Mae SilvestreIrish Mae Silvestre

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