, 2022-05-17 16:34:00,
Spoiler Alert: Our Father (2022) — Article contains content regarding true crime and assaultFertility fraud is as old as fertility treatment itself, but until recently, it often went undetected. In its usual form, it involves the substitution of sperm of one person for that of another without informing the patient. Many cases have been uncovered since the advent of home ancestry kits allowed those curious about their family history to compare their DNA with that of others online – a manifestation of the modern obsession with genealogy that has made a success of such shows as Who Do You Think You Are? and African American Lives.
But, as Netflix’s documentary Our Father released this week demonstrates, the revelations that emerge as a result can sometimes be far more sinister than anticipated.
The Undetected Crime
Netflix is no stranger to controversial documentaries, but Our Father pushes the controversy to new extremes. Fertility fraud has been the subject of several documentaries in the last five years, most famously in filmmaker Hannah Olson’s 2020 film for HBO, Baby God, which covered the activities of Quincy Fortier, a doctor from Nevada who hit the headlines after having been accused of using his own sperm to inseminate dozens of his patients at a facility in Las Vegas. He was sued by several of his alleged descendants in the 2000s and settled out of court before his death (in his 90s) in 2006.
Last year, the Dutch filmmaker Miriam Guttmann released Het Zad van Karbaat (The Seed of Karbaat), a short documentary series about Jan Karbaat, a Dutch doctor whose reputation as the nation’s foremost fertility doctor seemed secure – until it emerged that he had impregnated more than 65 of his patients…
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