Dealing with infertility is hard enough on any couple’s relationship, but imagine if you discovered years later that the person you thought was the sperm donor really wasn’t. Even worse, consider how you’d feel if you found out the donor was your own doctor! It’s a betrayal of trust that dozens of Indiana couples are dealing with right now.
Infertility Nightmare: What DNA Testing Revealed
Records show that allegations of impregnating patients with his own sperm had been leveled against Dr. Cline numerous times over the years, all of which he’d denied. However, some children of the doctor’s former patients, while researching their ancestry, discovered through DNA testing that they were related to a number of Dr. Cline’s own relatives. And it wasn’t a coincidence!
The Shocking Truth and What Happens Now
Following a lengthy investigation, authorities allege that Cline donated his own sperm at least 50 times over an eight-year period during the 1970s! The doctor had told his patients dealing with infertility that the donations came from medical and dental students, although he did concede to some of his former patients’ children that he used his own when necessary. It’s not clear how many children he may have actually fathered, but evidence from DNA could help provide those answers.
On September 12, Dr. Donald J. Cline was charged with two felony counts of obstruction of justice since he is alleged to have misled investigators all these years.
Protecting Families through DNA Paternity Testing
When a couple struggling with infertility conceives (using their own eggs and their own sperm), they trust that their beautiful baby comes from both parents. Unfortunately-although they are rare-mistakes can happen when conceiving through in vitro fertilization (IVF).
The Cline story had to do with a sperm donor, which is a situation where fraud is relatively difficult to expose. But when the identities of both parents are known, a simple paternity test conducted at an accredited lab can quickly resolve any suspicions of a mix-up during IVF.
How Paternity Testing Works
- Get a paternity testing kit over-the-counter at your local store
- Collect DNA from mother, father, and child, using painless, non-invasive cheek swabs
- Mail samples to the lab associated with the lab (make sure it’s accredited!)
- The results report will clearly show the biological relationship between participants
The Bottom Line
The way Dr. Cline allegedly deceived his patients all those years ago is shockingly inexcusable, and mistakes with infertility treatments are going to happen from time to time. It’s important to know that, thanks to DNA and easy-access to affordability paternity testing, all parents have the ability to discover the truth. Just remember that not all home paternity tests are created equal, so it’s wise to do some research before you buy.
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Alvarez, Manny, Ph.D. “Ivf Mistakes: Making Sure The Baby Is Yours.” Fox News. FOX News Network, 26 Mar. 2007. Web. 20 Sept. 2016. <http://www.foxnews.com/story/2007/03/26/ivf-mistakes-making-sure-baby-is-yours.html>.
Borland, Sophie. “IVF Clinic Blunders Treble in Three Years as Ten Mistakes Every Week Bring Heartbreak to Couples.” Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 12 Aug. 2011. Web. 20 Sept. 2016. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2025501/IVF-clinic-blunders-10-mistakes-week-bring-heartbreak-couples.html>.
@ChrisHarris@chrisharrisment. “Fertility Doctor Allegedly Used His Own Sperm 50 Times to Impregnate Patients.” PEOPLE.com. Time, Inc., 13 Sept. 2016. Web. 20 Sept. 2016. <http://www.people.com/article/indianapolis-fertility-doctor-allegedly-used-his-sperm-impregnate-patients>.
O’Farrell, Maggie. “IVF Mother: ‘I Love Him to Bits. But He’s Probably Not Mine'” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 29 Oct. 2009. Web. 20 Sept. 2016. <http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/oct/30/ivf-errors-baby-mix-up>.