Where is Dr. Donald Cline’s Daughter ‘Jacoba Ballard’ Now? – The Netflix documentary Our Father is a misnomer as it follows Jacoba Ballard, Donald Cline’s biological daughter, instead of the prominent fertility doctor. Although the show appears to be one of the streaming service’s true-crime offerings, viewers will be outraged to learn that the doctor’s use of his own sperm to inseminate non-consenting female patients was technically legal at the time.
Jacoba Ballard, an Indiana citizen, discovered a shocking fact about her paternal ancestry in 2014, which shattered the basis of her entire life. Dr. Donald Cline, who had treated her mother for infertility concerns over three decades earlier, was discovered to be her real father. Jacoba realised that she was not the only one related to him in this way as she continued her investigation.
In Netflix’s hard-hitting true-crime documentary ‘Our Father,’ Jacoba’s quest to expose Dr. Cline’s heinous deeds and seek justice for thousands like her is detailed. But first, let’s learn more about the case and how Jacoba is doing right now.
Recommended: Where is Dr. Donald Cline Now?
Jacoba Ballard, Who is She?
Jacoba Ballard, who was born on August 26, 1980, had known since she was ten years old that her mother, Deborah Pierce AKA Debbie had conceived her with a sperm donor. She ultimately chose to learn more about her ancestors in 2014 after living with this reality for the majority of her life.
Jacoba, then 34 years old, took a home DNA test and began searching on a genomics and biotech website that allows users to trace their family history. Jacoba hoped to discover and connect with any possible half-siblings, although she was not expecting to learn anything about her biological father.
Jacoba was surprised to discover not one, but seven half-siblings on the website, with birth dates spanning seven years. Debbie had seen Dr. Donald Cline, a well-known local reproductive specialist, in Fall 1979, and she had asked her for further information.
Jacoba was even more perplexed when the other seven half-siblings revealed that they were also conceived using sperm donors from Dr. Cline’s clinic. She began contacting all of her half-siblings, and she met Kristy Killion through an online register for donor kids.
Jacoba and Kristy filed complaints with the Indiana Attorney General’s office, and were then interrogated about it. Cline received two letters in January 2015 asking her to reply to the concerns within a week. He denied the women’s claims, claiming that he only utilised medical residents as donors and that each one was only used for three successful pregnancies.
Cline further said that from 1971 to 1981, he used fresh sperm samples before switching to frozen laboratory samples. Not only that, but Cline claimed that after seven years, he discarded all of the patient files as per the regular procedure. Jacoba and Kristy began gathering information on their own while the AG’s investigation progressed.
They began compiling a family tree of all the newly discovered half-siblings and discovered that they were all related to Dr. Cline’s relatives. They honed in on Sylvia, his first cousin, and surmised that he had used either his own or a family member’s sperm.
Meanwhile, one of the half-siblings called Fox59 reporter Angela Ganote and told her story under the pseudonym “Carrie.” Although she did not mention him in her report, other half-siblings fathered by the doctor began to surface after it was released. Angela also filed a report with the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, which will investigate the situation further.
Jacoba and Kristy went out to Doug and Donna, Cline’s children with Audrey, who revealed that he had admitted to donating his own sperm to the sperm bank. He stated that it was only eight times and that it was given to the laboratory. Doug approached his father again after the AG’s inquiry discovered that the lab had no records of the doctor, revealing that there were more donor offspring than eight. Jacoba also contacted Cline and recorded the conversation for future reference.
He apparently tried to persuade her of his regret using religious passages, but she refused to believe him. Jacoba, Kristy, and four other half-siblings met Dr. Cline for the first time in early 2016. He subsequently revealed that he had utilised his sperm sample around 50 times, justifying his conduct by claiming that he was assisting mothers who desired children.
Despite the collective grief of all the moms who felt violated by Cline, as well as the donor offspring whose lives were flipped upside down, he was not charged with sexual assault and battery because Indianapolis had no statutes supporting donor fraud survivors. Cline was charged with two counts of obstruction of justice for lying to the AG’s office, and he pled guilty to both charges in December 2017.
Regardless, he was only fined $500, and his one-year prison sentence was reduced to six months due to his age and the community’s support.
Cline’s release depressed Jacoba and her half-siblings, and she repeatedly noted in her impact statement that he had lied. “I separate myself from family and friends,” she continued. I wonder… the purpose of my life, in addition to questioning and doubting others.”
As a result, her quest for justice was far from ending, and she resolved to keep working for improved laws to address the issue.
What Happened to Jacoba Ballard and Where is She Now?
Indiana enacted legislation in 2018 making clandestine donor inseminations illegal, thanks to Jacoba Ballard and her half-siblings’ tireless efforts. She continues to track down and help her other half-siblings as she comes across them. At the time of filming, 94 of Dr. Cline’s donor offspring had been discovered, with the number continuing to rise.
Jacoba’s ordeal has yet to finish, and she expressed her concern of telling another new half-sibling about their biological father’s awful reality in a May 2022 interview. “Many of them have no idea they were donor-conceived, and some thought they were conceived from their father’s sperm… I tell them this news every time we get a new match, and it’s like I’m wrecking their lives,” she revealed.
Jacoba currently resides in Reelsville, Indianapolis, and is a prominent crusader against fertility fraud, as far as we can tell. Despite her ordeal, she has become a spokesperson for dozens of others like her, and she actively founded the Donor Conceived Community group to help donor offspring.
Jacoba, now in her early 40s, continues to help not just her half-siblings but also unconnected individuals who have suffered a similar life catastrophe.