A fertility doctor is supposed to be skilled at impregnating women. But not with his *own* sperm.
Yet that is precisely the charge facing Dr Donald Cline. The US doctor, who is now 77 and retired, is accused of secretly impregnating up to 50 women after they sought fertility treatment at his clinic in Indiana during the '70s and '80s.
His excuse? Cline confessed to authorities that he felt he was “helping women who really wanted a baby,” and “felt pressure to use his own sperm because he didn’t always have access to fresh sperm,” he said in an affidavit.
Cline’s extreme malpractice was uncovered after a woman in her thirties, who had long believed she was an only child, took a saliva DNA test, and found she was related to at least eight other people on the database of an online genetic testing service. Her findings were confirmed by FOX59 through a separate DNA test, which verified that the mothers of all eight individuals visited Cline’s clinic during the 70s and 80s.
“I went from that to having at least eight siblings overnight,” the woman, identified as Carrie, told local media. Cline allegedly told Carrie’s parents that he would use sperm from a trainee doctor, whose sperm donations would be limited to a further maximum three successful pregnancies. According to court documents, the siblings questioned whether a trainee doctor could be their biological father, as they were separated by an eight-year age gap.
Cline pleaded not guilty on Monday to two felony obstruction of justice charges over knowingly misleading investigators, said his attorney in a statement to NBC News.
It is unclear whether any of his children have plans to take legal action against him for possible damages. He has been ordered to return to court on October 17.