Growing up as an only child, Jacoba Ballard was in dire need of siblings.
In 2014, at age 35, the Indiana native’s wish was fulfilled when she performed a 23andMe DNA test and found she had at least seven half-brothers and sisters living within her 25-mile radius.
But Ballard’s lifelong dream of having a big family is quickly dashed as his half-sibling matches turn into balloons. Over the next eight years, she found a staggering 94 (and counting) blond-haired brother and sister—and one man at the root of her sordid family tree. They all shared a father, fertility doctor Donald Kline.
“It’s disgusting,” Ballard, 43, said in Netflix’s new documentary, “Our Father,” on May 11.
In the film, directed by Lucy Jordan of “Taken at Birth” fame, Ballard and a handful of her siblings believe that an all-white brood may be breeding in an attempt to preserve the Caucasian race. , his missteps may have been Cline’s inspiration for the pregnant crowd. Patient with his own sperm.
“It’s disgusting to sit there and lay in bed at night wondering if the person making you is some racist fanatic,” said Ballard of Kline, now 84. He retired in 2009, but committed his crimes from his Indianapolis offices. To no effect in the late 1970s and early 80s.
However, in 2016, Kline lied to investigators with the Indiana Attorney General’s office, claiming that he never used his own sperm to conceive a patient. But, later that year, a paternity test administered by a law enforcement agent with a warrant to collect his DNA sample confirmed a 99.99% chance that he was Ballard’s biological father.
Kline did not respond to the Post’s request for comment.
“What was it that, every day, woke up and decided to go to work, masturbated, and unknowingly, kept inside women without their consent?” asks Ballard in the doctor. “He could have stopped at any point, but he kept doing it over and over again.”
‘Best’ in the field
In 2017, after it was proved that Kline gave birth to Ballard, the doctor pleaded guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice for lying to authorities about artificially inseminating patients with her own samples. . But, due to a sympathetic judge and lack of criminal history, he did not serve any prison sentence and only paid a fine of $500.
As former Marion County, Ind., prosecutor Tim Delaney in Doc explains, he cannot be criminally charged with rape or battery because, “at the end of the day, there is no crime that touches on this particular act. [in the eyes of the law],” They said.
Although Kline reigns as the “most prolific” American physician for wrongly inseminating patients with his semen, he is hardly the only one. With the growing popularity of at-home DNA testing kits, an additional 44 fertility doctors across the country have also been exposed for similar misdeeds.
“It was a violation of her in me,” said Diana Keesler, whose daughter is Julie Kline’s biological child. In 1982, she had no clue that her infertility specialist—then acclaimed as one of the “best” in the field—had somehow discarded her husband’s sperm sample and used them himself.
But years later, when a 23andMe match and a DNA test proved his daughter and Ballard were blood relatives, and the truth of Kline’s trickery came to light, it nearly destroyed Kiesler’s family.
“I [told my husband]’Unfortunately, Dr. Kline didn’t use your sperm, he used his sperm. So, we’re just finding out that Julie isn’t yours,'” Kiesler recalled. His devastated wife said, “He has taken everything away from me.”
Ballard’s mother, Debbie Pierce, sought Kline’s help in getting pregnant in 1979 after it was determined that her husband could not have children naturally. She allowed the physician to choose what she thought would be a suitable donor sample for the insemination procedure.
“He told us he would match us with a donor who looked like our husband,” Pierce said. “He was going to use the medical students – their sperm.”
Pierce, along with the nurses and doctors on Kline’s staff, were under the impression that each donor sample would be used a maximum of three times.
This rule was to help avoid sharing a bloodline to many people in a geographic area. But years later, due to Ballard’s initial 23andMe findings, it became clear that the rule had been broken.
“Finding out that I had siblings was wonderful,” Ballard admitted. “But there are eight of us, what’s going on here?”
After confirming that she and Harmon were half-sisters, the pair reunited with their half-brother Matt White via an online biology database.
His mother, Liz, was unintentionally injected with Kline’s semen 15 times before she finally became pregnant.
“It’s just too f-ked up. I just felt bad for my mom,” said White. “I mean, here she was, this young woman wanted to have a family like anyone else.”
In the film, Liz says that when she found out that her son shared Kline’s DNA, she felt like “I was raped 15 times and I didn’t even know it.”
Unfortunately for White, Ballard, and the rest of the physician’s descendants, they claim that the disease runs through Kline’s blood.
“He has an autoimmune disease,” said Jason Hyatt, one of the disgraced doctor’s biological children. In the film, Mark Farber, a former friend and colleague of Kline’s, remembers hearing that he had been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis on his hands from the ’70s.
“Her sperm would not have even been allowed to become a donor,” Hyatt said, noting the intensive health checks most sperm donors have to undergo any underlying diseases or deficiencies.
Almost all half-siblings, including Ballard, suffer from chorionic autoimmune diseases. However, according to audio of a recorded police interview with Kline in Doctor Who, he claimed, “All the pregnancies I did with my sample, and again few, had a healthy baby.”
For Allison Kramer, 47, who also has health issues, it took a long time to accept that she and her twin sister Kline had children.
Even after taking a 23andMe DNA test and being matched as Ballard’s half-brother, Kramer couldn’t bring herself to believe that she was not the biological daughter of the man she grew up believing her father, Kline’s friend Farber. Had happened.
It wasn’t until her half-siblings called “Dr. Phil” in December 2019 that she was finally able to accept the truth.
But Kline’s wrongdoings, sadly, felt even more personal to Kramer.
“Don Kline was also my fertility doctor,” she confessed tearfully on camera. “He was my main GYN… He did my Pap exam, he did a breast test.”
She adds, “I don’t think any older woman would want someone close to her, who is of the opposite sex, to touch her like that.”
And while Kline’s sins may be legally unreported by now, Ballard refuses to rest until justice is served.
“Instead of destroying, you made me realize my self-worth,” she says of the Doctor in the film. “And you also told me what my purpose is.”
With the help of his new family members and their mothers, Ballard successfully worked to pass legislation in Indiana to make illegal donor insemination illegal. There is no federal law against it.
“I’m a fighter,” Ballard says in the doc. “And I’ll fight for every brother and sister I have that I know, who I don’t know, and for every woman you killed. And I’ll do that until F-King Day is my Death does not happen.