INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – An Indianapolis fertility doctor accused of secretly using his own sperm to artificially inseminate his patients was in court Monday.
According to court documents, 77-year-old Donald Cline faces two counts of obstruction of justice after DNA tests revealed he matched paternally to two complainants by 99.9 percent.
The investigation started after an Indiana woman’s daughter learned her father was not her biological father and that she was not an only child. She took a DNA test through 23andMe and learned she was related to at least eight other people. At least three of those eight people were children of mothers who had visited Cline for insemination, court documents state.
The website analyzes DNA through a saliva-based test. The test provided information of her ancestry, which included genetic makeup from her mother and father’s lines.
Her mother had visited Cline in the early 1980s because she was struggling to conceive.
Cline assisted her with artificial insemination and said he would use fresh sperm from a resident or medical student. He said the sperm would not be used for more than three successful pregnancies. Cline did not tell the mother he would be her sperm donor, court documents state.
The Indiana Attorney General’s Office had complaints filed by the children of Cline’s former patients. The complaints were filed to learn how many offspring had the same donor as well as other details. Cline denied being the sperm donor at the time, but DNA tests revealed he matched some of them paternally.
Cline’s son and daughter met with two former patient’s children after one sent a Facebook message to Cline’s son. They admitted their father donated his own sperm when he didn’t have a donor sample available. They said it happened over a seven-year time span, as many as 50 times.
Court documents state Cline admitted to police that his action was wrong to inseminate the women with his own sperm. He said he felt he was helping them since they wanted to have a baby.
He said he didn’t always have access to fresh sperm and never used a sperm bank, but his children claimed he used one.
In addition, Cline said if a woman came back to him to have another baby, he would use his own sperm again to produce siblings. He claimed he gave the mothers a consent for artificial donor insemination form, but the medical records were shredded since they were over seven years old, according to court documents.
Cline said he doesn’t know when he stopped using his own sperm to artificially inseminate women.
He apologized for his actions.
The youngest sibling was born in 1986.