ZIONSVILLE, Ind. — A Zionsville church is responding to a Netflix documentary chronicling the transgressions of one of its former leaders, former Indianapolis fertility doctor Donald Cline.
As shown in the “Our Father” documentary released in May, Cline was proven to have secretly used his sperm to impregnate dozens of patients at his fertility clinic — resulting in at least 94 donor children.
Cline was once an elderman with Zionsville Fellowship, and people with the church say they did not know Cline used his own sperm samples until it was made public in a FOX59 news report in 2016.
Current elders with the church say Cline admitted to them he was unethical with his practice. But because they say he showed remorse, the church did not take any disciplinary actions against Cline.
Since then, the church elders say they realize Cline only admitted to a small fraction of what he did. They tell us if they knew back then what they know now — Cline would have been removed from his position of authority within the church.
Cline has since switched churches within the last year.
He was never charged with a crime directly related to impregnating his patients. He was charged in 2017 with two counts of obstruction of justice. He pleaded guilty to those and paid a $500 fine.
During his sentencing, several church elders provided character statements in Cline’s favor.
Cline and his group, Indianapolis Infertility, Inc., paid out more than $1.3 million in settlements in civil cases filed by three donor children and/or their families.