History | Equality | Science

A Fertility Doctor Secretly Impregnated 94 Women

The chilling story of Dr. Cline and the aftermath of his actions.

Sean Kernan
5 min readMay 14, 2022


Editorial rights purchased via iStock Photos

My girlfriend and I got into a debate over who is worse, Dr. Cline or Dr. Larry Nassar.

It’s that bad.

Ranking evil helped us get a grip on the amorality of a situation. We decided that Dr. Cline “won” because his actions had so many orders of impact. There was a level of trauma that was hard to even define.

It’s like something out of a Nazi fantasy.

Here’s what happened

Jacoba Ballard grew up thinking it was bizarre that she had blonde hair and bright blue eyes despite being in a family of dark-haired relatives. She later learned she was the product of a sperm donor.

She did a DNA test on 23AndMe, only to realize she had seven half-siblings she didn’t know about.

Jacoba Ballard (Author Via iStock Images)

It didn’t make sense.

A fertility doctor, Dr. Cline, had promised her parents each donor was only used three times. This reduced the risk of incest and bloating of one family tree.

Before her test, she’d joked with her parents that Dr. Cline is probably the donor. Then she watched in horror as people in Dr. Cline’s family appeared related to her.

Dr. Cline eventually confessed to using his own sperm — but only when other sperm wasn’t available. He said, “There are ten donor siblings at most.”

It was one of many lies. The number of siblings has now climbed to 94 and will likely increase:

Dr. Cline (via Wikimedia Commons)

Every year, several more people pop up on DNA sites as half-siblings.

Jacoba knows they’ll be confused by the results. She reaches out to them and painfully explains the reality of the situation.

The degrees of trauma



Sean Kernan

Always on the hunt for a good story. That guy from Quora. Writing out of Tampa, Florida.