Fertility Doc Who Used Own Sperm Barred From Practicing Again

Megan Brooks

September 07, 2018

Donald Cline, MD, the Indiana fertility doctor who admitted to using his own sperm to impregnate women, has surrendered his license, and the state medical board has barred him from ever being able to apply for reinstatement..

Cline ran a fertility clinic during the 1970s and 1980s in the Indianapolis area and allegedly may have fathered dozens of children, unbeknownst to the couples who came to Cline seeking anonymous sperm donation to start a family. What they got instead was Cline's sperm, according to investigators with the Indiana Attorney General's office.

Dr Donald Cline


For now, it's unknown exactly how many women Cline deceived, how many children he may have fathered, and his motive behind his actions. The children, now grown, are finding each other through DNA testing sites such as 23andMe. Cline retired from practice in 2009.

In January 2015, the Indiana Attorney General's Office began to investigate Cline after receiving a consumer complaint that he had used his own sperm at a fertility clinic. At the time, Cline, in a written statement, denied ever using his own sperm sample for insemination.

In May 2016, however, the 79-year-old doctor contradicted his written statement when he admitted that he had used his own sperm to inseminate women in his fertility clinic. The admission was recorded during a phone conversation with one of the individuals determined to be his biological child.

DNA testing conducted during the investigation confirmed that Cline was the biological father of the two women who filed the original consumer complaint with the Indiana Attorney General's office.

In December 2017, Cline pleaded guilty  to two counts of obstruction of justice, acknowledging that he intentionally misled investigators about using his own sperm to impregnate his patients.  Cline was given a 365-day suspended sentence for the felony conviction.

"Not only did Dr Cline abuse his position of complete trust with his patients, his decisions will have lasting impact through generations of the impacted families," Prosecutor Terry Curry said in a news release. "There were significant limitations to how a criminal case could proceed against Dr Cline, but ultimately he admitted to his actions and to intentionally misleading investigators."

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