As the case against an Indiana doctor who admitted to using his own sperm to impregnate his patients without their knowledge goes back to court Tuesday, his donor children are speaking out.
Angela Ganote from FOX59 had the opportunity to speak with some of the doctor’s donor children and one of their mothers.
“I really don’t feel like anyone cares. When you are promised by a senator that they are going to help you and they don’t , that is disheartening,” said Jacoba Ballard.
In March 2014, FOX59 began investigating Dr. Donald Cline when Ballard reached out asking for help. Ballard believed she had proof Dr. Cline wasn’t just her mother’s doctor, but also her biological father and a father to many.
“The biggest update is that we keep finding more siblings,” Ballard said, adding she is frustrated at court delays, while shockingly even more new brothers and sisters are coming to light.
Incredibly, eight siblings initially who found each other through DNA tests and the website 23andMe. Now however, the number of children who have confirmed Dr. Cline is their father is believed to be 27, including Cline’s children with his wife.
Ballard raised the horrifying prospect that she or any other of the children could have mistakenly mated with each other, not knowing Dr. Cline was their true father.
“The whole idea of inbreeding it is just, it is very scary,” said Ballard.
Matt White also found out that Dr. Cline, who lives less than five miles away from him, is his biological father. White reportedly said his new pain comes from the reality of just how many siblings there are in central Indiana, and how his new found siblings had no clue what they were getting into when they took that DNA test.
“New people haven’t seen media coverage. They are just taking a DNA test because it is trendy and less expenses. They think 23andMe is wrong, they are confused!” said White.
The donor children are hurt, and ask people to imagine not having any idea your father is not your biological dad. Julie Harmon said it has taken almost a year to figure out who she is now and what this all means.
“You have to find yourself again. I didn’t know who I was! Finding my identity and who I am, it has been hard,” said Harmon, another of Dr. Cline’s donor children.
Harmon and her siblings are also very angry, and argue that Cline is getting a slap on the wrist for what they believe should be a very serious crime with much bigger penalties.
“I was supposed to be from my father. I never knew. I wasn’t supposed to be from a donor,” said Harmon. “And so that is the biggest thing why did he take that away from my father?”
Cline currently faces charges of obstruction justice for lying to the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, but not for using his own fresh sperm on his patients in his office. Matt White’s mother, Liz White, says the prosecutor’s office told her because there was no force, under Indiana law, Cline can’t be charged with inappropriate sexual contact. She says that law needs to change.
“What occurred outside the room still is deplorable to me. That’s when it became instead of a medical procedure it became a sexual act!” said Liz White.
The donor children are adamant they do not want the prosecutor to accept a plea deal in the case, and still hope Cline will face more charges. Ballard said investigators interviewed them – which is something they say the former attorney general never did.
“I will be honest, when they came to my house to visit me and they said this did not look good on their office that something wasn’t done in the past,” said Ballard.
For now, the siblings are drawing strength from one another, and intend to go to court to give voice to others who are still trying to come to terms with their new reality.