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How Accurate Is Netflix's Our Father?

From "Making a Murderer" to "Abducted in Plain Sight," Netflix's vast lineup of crime documentaries is ever-growing. Whether it's a spouse leading a double life or a suspicious neighbor, there's just something intriguing about hearing these dark stories and playing detective from the comfort of the couch.

As of May 11, "Our Father" is Netflix's latest addition to the genre. Unlike some crime documentaries that unveil a plot-twist killer at the end, the bad guy in "Our Father" is evident from the start – former Indianapolis fertility doctor Donald Cline. Rather than inseminate patients with the sperm of their desired donor, he uses his own without their knowledge or consent. This devious act results in him fathering at least 50 children, unbeknownst to them and their deceived mothers until many years later.

While some Netflix offerings are largely scripted and simply meant to entertain, others – especially its expansive list of crime documentaries – are based on the disturbing happenings of real life. Regarding "Our Father," let's take a look at whether it's fact or fiction.

Our Father tells the real-life story of Donald Cline's 50 donor offspring

Netflix's "Our Father" is a true crime documentary, which means that many everything shown occurred in the real world. Of course, many projects in this genre utilize actors to recreate key moments in the story. But otherwise, the plotline is 100 percent fact (via Glamour) and the interviews conducted are with the actual victims of Donald Cline.

Jacoba Ballard is featured in the trailer, as she was one of the first to discover the harrowing truth. According to a 2019 report by The Atlantic, in 2014, a 33-year-old Ballard set out to find the "one or two" individuals with whom she shares a sperm donor. Ballard knew she was donor-conceived for over 20 years and simply wanted to meet any half-siblings she may have. However, as dozens of blonde-haired, blue-eyed half-siblings were revealed, these newfound brothers and sisters realized something was amiss and worked to find a common denominator: Cline.

Based on the trailer, "Our Father" includes conversations with several of Cline's offspring, as well as their mothers, many of whom are distraught over the situation. One sadly says, "I had to tell my husband, 'We're just now finding out that Julie is not yours.'"

"Our Father" also shares insight on the life of Cline, who was a respected medical professional and philanthropist in his community. Additionally, it delves into the fact that Cline is, and always has been, a free man. Despite pleading guilty in December 2017, his actions weren't legally considered a crime and he received no jail time (via Fox 59). He simply had his medical license taken away (via Glamour).