Dr. Don Cline: How Many Siblings Were From ‘Our Father’?

dr don cline siblings our father

Netflix A Netflix promotional image from its documentary, "Our Father."

Dr. Don Cline was a fertility doctor who used his own sperm to inseminate patients without their consent, according to the Netflix documentary, “Our Father.” Jacoba Ballard began unraveling the truth of her ancestry and her siblings with a DNA test.

Cline fathered at least 94 biological children, according to the documentary, but the exact number of children conceived is impossible to know. Ballard took a 23andMe test in 2014, and learned she had seven half-siblings. She contacted the siblings to learn about their mysterious familial connection, and realized each of the mothers had seen the same fertility doctor.

As many more siblings began taking DNA tests, their information was added to the database and the number of siblings in the count grew. Each time a new connection was added to the database, Ballard prepared to break the news, she said on the documentary.

Here’s what you need to know:

New Siblings Are Often Added to the Database After Christmas, When Cline’s Children Are Gifted a Present That Changes Their Lives

One of Cline’s children, Heather Woock, spoke to The Atlantic in 2019, two years after she learned of her strange lineage through a barrage of Facebook messages from family members she never knew she had. At the time of her DNA test in 2017, an Ancestry.com database identified the number of Cline’s children as about 50. In 2022, the number is 94, according to the documentary.

The number of connections on ancestry databases would spike after holidays like Christmas, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, the siblings told The Atlantic. DNA tests were often given as gifts that delivered family secrets.

Ballard told The Atlantic she knew she had been conceived through a donor since she was 10, and as an adult she was curious to find any half-siblings conceived through the same donor.

“I was thinking one, or two at the most,” Ballard told The Atlantic.

Ballard said on the documentary she would contact her half-siblings after learning of their connections on ancestry databases.

“I know I’m going to call them and I’m going to ruin their life,” Ballard said on the documentary.

The half-siblings keep in touch through a Facebook group.

Investigators Speculated Cline May Have Been Motivated By Religion & the Extremist Christian Sect ‘Quiverfull’

“Our Father” speculated that Cline may have had religious motivations behind his actions because of his affiliation with Quiverfull, an extremist sect of Christianity that encourages its followers to procreate as much as possible. The Quiverfull website cites Psalm 127: 3-5.

The Bible passage says:

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

The website says that they provide “encouragement and practical help to those who are striving to raise a large and growing, godly family in today’s world!” Quiverfull also writes that they welcome those with families of any size.

“We exalt Jesus Christ as Lord, and acknowledge His headship in all areas of our lives, including fertility. We exist to serve those believers who trust the Lord for family size, and to answer the questions of those seeking truth in this critical area of marriage,” the website says. “Whether your quiver is large or small, you are welcome.”

READ NEXT: Dr. Don Cline Now: Is the ‘Our Father’ Doctor in Prison Today?

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