Jane Blasio Discusses Her True Identity
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For over thirty years Dr. Hicks, a beloved small-town doctor in McCaysville, Georgia, built his wealth by performing abortions and selling babies out of his clinic. Some women went to the doctor for help and gave up their babies freely. While others were told by Dr. Hicks that their babies had died; then he sold them to willing couples who paid for the babies. Jane was sold for $1,000 as a newborn in January of 1965 by Dr. Hicks. Her parents heard they could get a healthy, white baby from the town doctor. “They kept the car running as Hicks passed me through the back door of his clinic,” shares Jane.
When Jane was six years old, she found out she was adopted and a “black market” baby. She did not know what that meant until a kid from school explained she was bought like you would buy a puppy. When she confronted her father with the truth he lied. Her mother kept quiet. She was fourteen when she saw her birth certificate for the first time. Her parents, Joan and James, were falsely listed as the birth parents on the certificate and the Hicks clinic in McCaysville, Georgia was listed as her birthplace. Jane began going to the library and learned all about Dr. Hicks and how he lost his license in 1964 for performing abortions.
It wasn’t until after her mom’s death from cancer in 1988, while studying criminal justice at the University of Akron and working for a local private investigator, that she understood the full story about her adoption. Before her mom died, she told her dad to tell Jane the truth. He honored her request and answered Jane’s questions about her birth. He admitted that her Aunt Alice told them about Dr. Hicks and his clinic. He had chosen to take her mom there because she was depressed about being barren.
HELPING OTHER HICKS BABIES
Jane’s birth certificate stated she was born in Georgia at the Hicks Clinic. Unfortunately, when she contacted the Georgia Vital Statistics Bureau to get her A-File, the buried birth certificate that shows the birth mother and father when a legal adoption takes place, they did not have a birth certificate for Jane. Her adoption was not legal. She was referred to Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina as she tried to locate her true birth certificate. Jane decided to learn more about the Hicks clinic listed on her birth certificate. She drove there, began making phone calls, visiting libraries, and talking with the locals to try and put together the information her father had shared with her about the clinic.
After years of searching, Jane knew it was time to go public with the story so she could find more people like her and find records or birth families. Through her research she learned that over 200 babies were sold at the clinic. She called the local paper and begged for a couple of lines. Jane thought the story would be buried in the lifestyle section of the paper, but instead the story hit the front page of the Akron Beacon Journal and the AP Wire on Mother’s Day 1997.
Phone calls started pouring in from people with Hicks Clinic birth certificates. Calls and letters overwhelmed her to the tune of 300 plus a day. Jane says, “People were asking questions and throwing information at me rapid-fire, hoping to connect their truth to mine.” Just under fifty babies from the Hicks Clinic came forward when the article was published. Many found their way to Jane’s living room to share their story and find clues about their birth families. She has spent years investigating her own origin and helping other victims identify and reunite with their birth families.
Jane became a Christian when she was twenty-one. Although she thought she was solid in her faith when the story broke in 1997, she was overwhelmed and walked away from everything: her friends, her marriage, and her relationship with God. She wanted to find who she was and where she belonged. Jane decided to go live the life she wanted to live, “I wanted to erase everything, everyone, and every point of contention or disappointment in my life.”
It would be fifteen years before Jane rededicated her life to Jesus after several life events brought her to her knees again. During this time Jane also began to look at Dr. Hicks differently. She realized he was a man and a mess just like her and she no longer wanted to judge him. She was also able to forgive her parents. In the process of searching for her birth family Jane discovered something more important than her DNA. She discovered she is a child of God and she belongs to Him.
Her journey and the story of the Hicks clinic are the subject of the TLC series, Taken at Birth, which began airing in 2019.
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