3rd woman sired by Indiana fertility doctor claims Netflix outed her in 'Our Father' documentary

Posted at 5:36 PM, Jul 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-06 17:36:37-04

FORT WAYNE — An Allen County woman is suing Netflix and the creators of the "Our Father" documentary after she says it named her as being one of the more than 90 children sired by a Zionsville fertility doctor who used his own sperm to impregnate patients.

In a federal lawsuit originally filed June 1, the woman claims Netflix and Blumhouse Productions identified her by name without her permission, telling millions of people who have viewed the documentary that she was a secret child of Dr. Donald Cline.

Two other women filed similar lawsuits in Marion County in May.

The Allen County woman, who filed the suit under a pseudonym, learned through a DNA test in 2016 that she was one of the dozens of children fathered by Cline, who in 2017 pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and admitted that he inseminated patients using his semen without their knowledge in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Jacoba Ballard's family tree.

That knowledge was a closely kept secret, the woman said in her lawsuit.

The woman claims Netflix and Blumhouse caused her "severe harm, including, but not limited to reputational injury, distress, embarrassment and emotional trauma."

The woman claims she asked Blumhouse to blur her name in the documentary on May 12 but the company has "refused to take adequate steps with which to protect plaintiff's identity."

The Allen County woman's lawsuit was initially filed in Allen Superior Court on June 1 and moved to the U.S. District Court in Fort Wayne on June 6, records show.
She is seeking monetary damages and that her name be removed from the documentary.

The "Our Father" documentary tells how Jacoba Ballard and others exposed Cline after learning they were Cline's biological children through an at-home DNA test.

The documentary was released May 11 and viewed by millions of people, according to the lawsuits.

WRTV has reached out to Netflix and Blumhouse Production seeking comment.

Screen Shot 2022-04-15 at 9.49.10 AM.png
Dr. Donald Cline.

More: Victims hopeful new law will protect against fertility fraud | Fertility doctor gets no jail time for lying about using his own sperm | 6 questions with star of documentary on fertility doc who inseminated patients with his sperm | Netflix documentary "Our Father" unravels twisted story of Zionsville fertility doctor | Women sired by Indiana fertility doctor say Netflix outed them in 'Our Father' documentary

Contact WRTV reporter Vic Ryckaert at victor.ryckaert@wrtv.com or on Twitter: @vicryc.