In the first official trailer for the forthcoming documentary Our Father, a routine Ancestry.com DNA test uncovers the misdeeds of Dr. Donald Cline. The film, which premieres on Netflix on May 11, follows the biological children of the disgraced fertility doctor who covertly inseminated dozens of patients with his own sperm during his 40-year career.
Directed by Lucie Jourdan, Our Father zooms in on Zionsville, Indiana, where 35-year-old Jacoba Ballard’s DNA test reveals the existence of seven half-siblings. Through further investigation, it is revealed that they — and many more — are all connected at the root of their family tree by Dr. Cline.
“I think it was some sick experiment for him,” one sibling ponders in the trailer. Another points out the consistency of their shared traits: blond hair and blue eyes, adding: “It’s almost like this perfect Aryan clan.”
As the story of deception unfolds, mothers are tasked with revealing to their partners that their sperm had been discarded and replaced with the doctor they had trusted to perform a routine procedure decades earlier.
“This was a person in a position of power,” Fox 59 anchor Angela Ganote says. “He’s known in our community as a philanthropist. He’s an elder of the church.”
In 2017, Dr. Cline pleaded guilty to two felony obstruction of justice charges after falsely denying to state investigators that he had been using his own sperm to inseminate patients. Despite his later admittance and the scale of his actions, nailing down a route to prosecution is difficult.
“I don’t deny that it was a sexual violation,” a talking head states in the trailer. “But legally there’s just no crime that touches this particular act.”