A former fertility specialist was under investigation for allegedly inseminating the clinic's patients with his own sperm, allegations which he previously denied. The doctor just pleaded guilty to misleading authorities during the investigations but he is not faced with any jail time.
Fertility Clinic Investigations
In January of 2015, an investigation was held after several clients of a fertility clinic posed their complaints at the Indiana Attorney General's Office, claiming that fertility specialist Dr. Donald Cline used his own sperm to inseminate his clients. In a written response to the investigations, Dr. Cline denied that he used his own sperm to inseminate any of his clients.
However, in May 2016, a recorded phone conversation between Dr. Cline and one of the children he supposedly fathered, wherein he admitted to using his own sperm for clients, was turned over to investigators. Further, DNA testing revealed that he was, in fact, the likely biological father of at least two of the children in question and possibly of 20 others.
Donating His Own Sperm
On Dec. 14, the Marion County Prosecutor stated that Dr. Cline has pleaded guilty to two counts of Obstruction of Justice as a result of his attempt to mislead the investigators during the investigation on the claims. He has also admitted to using his own sperm samples to inseminate patients at the clinic in the 1970s and in the 1980s.
In fact, court documents show that he admitted to six adults who were believed to be his children that he did donate his own sperm when the patients were told that no individual donor's sperm was used more than three times. What's more, Dr. Cline stated that he may have donated his own sperm when donors weren't available for up to 50 times.
"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," said Prosecutor Terry Curry. As such, he was given a 365-day suspended sentence for the felony conviction.
Artificial Insemination is a process wherein the doctor places sperm samples directly in the woman's fallopian tubes, uterus, or cervix. It is a procedure that is often done to help couples with infertility problems such as low sperm count, or the sperm's inability to swim into the fallopian tubes. The procedure may also be done in women with endometriosis and other conditions that affect the reproductive system.
The procedure is short and relatively painless, and the results may vary for reasons such as the individual's age, poor sperm or egg quality, or blockage of fallopian tubes among others.