In the 1950s and ’60s, a Georgia doctor named Thomas Jugarthy Hicks lied to new mothers about the death of their babies before quietly selling the babies — nearly 200 of them — to out-of-state couples.
Since the birth certificates of the “Hicks Babies” stated their adoptive parents were their biological parents, genetic codes were their only option for links to bloodlines.
Kriste Hughes, now 51, was sold to her adoptive parents just one week after the doctor told her birth mother that her daughter had a bad heart and had her sign a death certificate. But the shocking mystery that followed her like a heavy cloud for five decades was about to be cracked wide open.
Working with ABC’s “Nightline,” Kriste connected with her first cousin through Ancestry.com. Her cousin revealed that two of her aunts had given birth at the Hicks clinic, but only one of the aunts was still alive. One of the aunts also had a son who could be Kriste’s biological brother. The son agreed to take a DNA test — and it was a match.
Then came the news Kriste had been waiting for her whole life. Her biological mother, 75-year-old Thelma Tipton, was still alive. Thelma says she had never forgotten Kriste. “He robbed me of my life … I missed out seeing [Kristie] growing up, missed out on her first tooth … her first day in school … I missed out on her wedding, I missed out on everything.”
In 1964, Hicks surrendered his medical license. He died in 1972 at age 83. He was never held accountable for the babies he sold.
In the tear-jerking video below, watch as Kriste travels to Georgia to meet her biological family for the first time ever. Please SHARE it with your friends on Facebook!