NBA YoungBoy Kids

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Dr. Donald Cline is a retired Indianapolis fertility doctor who has become infamous for using his own sperm to impregnate dozens of patients without their knowledge or consent in the 1970s and 1980s. But the full extent of how many biological children Cline secretly fathered through his fertility practice has remained murky, even as the shocking story garnered national headlines. So how many kids did controversial fertility doctor Dr. Donald Cline actually have through his unethical artificial insemination practices?

Overview of the Dr. Cline Fertility Scandal

Dr. Donald Cline operated a fertility clinic called The Cline Clinic in Indianapolis, Indiana from 1979 to 2009. During the 1970s and 1980s, Cline artificially inseminated numerous patients using his own sperm rather than donor sperm from an anonymous third party as the patients believed. This constituted medical rape and was done without the patients’ informed consent.

The truth began to come to light years later when home DNA tests became easily accessible to consumers. In 2014, a woman named Jacoba Ballard took a DNA test and discovered she had seven half-siblings [1]. Ballard eventually realized through further investigation that they all had Dr. Cline as their mother’s fertility doctor. Genetic testing confirmed they shared the same biological father – Dr. Cline.

Initial Investigations Reveal 7-12 Half Siblings

Ballard reported her findings to local news station Fox59 in Indianapolis in 2015. Their initial investigations found that Dr. Cline had used his own sperm to father at least 7 and possibly up to 12 children with different women, all under the guise of anonymous sperm donation [2]. Cline denied the accusations at first but eventually admitted to inseminating around 50 patients with his own sperm.

Many assumed the 7-12 known half-siblings represented the full scope of Dr. Cline’s actions. But as more people began taking at-home DNA tests, the number of discovered half-siblings slowly began to grow.

More Siblings Emerge as DNA Testing Expands

In 2016, news broke that DNA testing had uncovered 3 more half-siblings related to Dr. Cline, bringing the total to 10 known siblings at that time [3].

By 2017, the number of half-siblings linked to Cline rose to 18. Many of them had connected through the website “DNA NPE Friends Finder”, a group for people with unexpected DNA results [4].

Anthropologist and genealogist CeCe Moore worked on the Cline case to help donor-conceived individuals piece together their biological relationships through genetic genealogy. She said the number of half-siblings found continued to grow as more people took DNA tests.

“When the group first formed, there were maybe 10 [half-siblings] and I just kept expecting it to stop…But every month or so, a new one would pop up,” said Moore [4].

Current Estimates Suggest 20-50 Siblings

News reports in 2022 have estimated that Dr. Cline may have secretly fathered between 20-50 children through his fertility practice without informing or gaining consent from the mothers [5].

Many believe the number is likely on the higher end, given how the initially known numbers ballooned over time as more DNA results came in. The full scope may still be unknown, as some individuals conceived via Cline’s practice have not yet taken DNA tests themselves. others who have taken DNA tests may not have close enough matches yet to identify the connection.

Cline himself admitted during a disciplinary hearing to using his own sperm to artificially inseminate potentially dozens of patients. Though Cline destroyed his patient records, making it impossible to know the full count.

Impact on Donor-Conceived Individuals and Families

The revelations about Dr. Cline’s unconscionable violations of his patients’ trust have had deep ramifications for the donor-conceived individuals and families involved. Many mothers felt violated and traumatized when they realized the donor they had chosen was actually Cline himself.

The donor-conceived offspring suffered emotional distress and identity crises upon learning they had so many half-siblings and that their anonymous sperm donor father was actually their mother’s fertility doctor.

Jacoba Ballard described the experience as “a hereditary nightmare” [5]. The donor-conceived siblings also worry about the implications of having so many half-siblings they are biologically related to, since they may unknowingly meet and start families with their own relatives.

Legal Consequences for Dr. Cline

After years of trying to bring Dr. Cline to justice, Donald Cline ultimately faced legal consequences for his rogue inseminations in December 2017. Cline entered a plea deal and was given a one-year suspended sentence for two counts of obstruction of justice [6]. He avoided harsher punishment by agreeing to surrender his medical license.

Many criticized the lenient sentencing, but Indiana lacked firm laws against fertility doctors using their sperm without consent at the time. Since then, Indiana and other states have passed firmer laws criminalizing such acts to prevent other doctors from following Cline’s misconduct. Cline also faced civil lawsuits from his biological children, resulting in financial settlements, but avoided compensating the mothers.

Lingering Questions About Dr. Cline’s Motivations

Dr. Cline has never provided a clear explanation for why he betrayed his patients’ trust by using his own sperm hundreds of times instead of anonymous donors. During a disciplinary hearing, Cline claimed he did it to prevent other men from having to learn later if they had fathered donor children. But his victims believe it was done for his own interest or gratification.

Jacoba Ballard said– “I really don’t think he saw us as people. I think we were his narcissistic supply.” She pointed to how Cline followed their accomplishments online for years [5].

Whatever his reasons, Cline’s actions robbed mothers of their choice and offspring of knowing their biological origins – leaving a lasting legacy of pain and betrayal.

5 Key Questions Remaining About Dr. Cline’s Biological Children

How many donor-conceived children might Dr. Cline still have?

Estimates range from 20-50, but its possible not all his biological offspring have yet been accounted for.

Will more children emerge as at-home DNA testing expands?

Almost certainly new half-siblings will surface over time as more people take DNA tests. The number found has steadily grown each year.

Could any children have medical issues from being closely related?

It’s a concern for the half-siblings that they may unknowingly meet partners or spouses who are also Cline’s offspring.

How did no one notice what Cline was doing at the time?

It remains unclear how Cline was able to get away with using his own sperm so extensively without staff at the clinic noticing.

What became of any remaining sperm samples?

After Cline retired it’s unknown what happened to any of his remaining sperm samples at the clinic, if they were destroyed or not.

The Complicated Legacy of Dr. Donald Cline

Dr. Donald Cline left behind a complex legacy through his unethical artificial insemination practices that betrayed patient trust and caused lasting harm. Though the full scope of how many children he secretly fathered may never be known, the shocking story serves as a warning about the abuse of reproductive medicine and power. It also illustrates how the rise of consumer DNA testing tools has empowered donor-conceived individuals to reclaim their biological histories, even from decades past. For the families impacted by Cline’s misconduct, the pieces of their genetic histories left in disarray by his actions may still never be made fully whole again.

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