Jane Blasio is one of the “Hicks Babies” who were sold by Dr. Thomas Hicks from a clinic in small-town McCaysville, Georgia. Today, she is an investigator and she broke open the case of the illegal adoptions.
Blasio organized the Hicks Babies and is leading the effort to reunite them with their birth parents. She learned at a young age she was adopted, but her research took her down a surprising path when she met up with a judge who discovered 200 babies were sold from Hicks Community Clinic to adoptive parents in Akron, Ohio, according to PEOPLE.
She was raised in Akron, Ohio and studied criminal justice and English at the University of Akron, according to her website.
She works as a professional investigator and TV personality, according to her website. She was featured on TLC’s three-part series, Taken At Birth, which originally aired in 2019.
She is continuing her efforts in 2021 to help the other Hicks Babies find their biological roots through her website and McCaysville Lost & Found.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Jane Blasio Was Raised in Akron, Ohio & Learned She Was Adopted At Age 5
Jane Blasio was born in McCaysville, Georgia and sold from the Hicks Community Clinic by Dr. Thomas Hicks. She learned that she was adopted as a young child, but the details surrounding her birth and her adoption were a mystery until much later.
“Jane Blasio learned at age 5 that she’d been adopted,” said an article on PEOPLE. “But the full, darker tale of how she was acquired didn’t emerge until much later, after the death of her adoptive mother freed her to ask hard questions to the remaining parent who raised her.”
Her older sister, Michelle, was also illegally adopted through the Hicks Clinic.
“I went back to McCaysville several times over 14 years gathering stories, but I still had so many questions when it came to finding my birth story,” Blasio said on the show. “What is going to get me my answers? And I had nothing, other than the birth certificate that said ‘Hicks Clinic.’”
2. After Blasio’s Adoptive Mother Died, She Started Digging Deeply Into Her History
Blasio started searching for her biological parents after the death of her adoptive mother. She told PEOPLE she did not ask many questions about her birth until her adopted mother died. She learned she was adopted at age 5.
“My birth search began in the early 80s when I turned 18, a journey that has taken me from phone calls, pre-internet research, knocking on doors and meeting in back parking lots at night, to DNA matches and a blackmarket business run by a small town doctor that sold 200+ babies with their history erased. In 1997 after 13+ years of investigating, I broke the story of the Hicks Clinic and doctor Thomas Jugarthy Hicks, a baby seller,” she wrote on her website. “It continues today as I facilitate other adoptees and their families throughout the searching and striving to find closure, peace of mind. Hearts heal when truth is revealed and restored to those who have lost medical and historical ties through both illegal and legal adoption.”
She visited McCaysville multiple times, but could not break through until she met a probate judge who discovered the truth.
“She didn’t have knowledge of what Dr. Hicks had been doing, and she did not have an allegiance to him or his family,” Blasio said on the show. “And so she went ahead and she perused the birth certificates that he was taking to the county registrar back in the ’50s and ’60s, and found that there were an estimated 200-plus babies that had gone to Akron, Ohio, from the Hicks Clinic.”
3. Jane Blasio Is a Professional Investigator & Is an Expert in Black Market Adoption
Jane Blasio is a professional investigator who began amateur investigations as a teenager in Akron, Ohio. She later became a professional investigator, working cases including workman’s compensation claims. She studied English and criminal justice at the University of Akron, according to her website. She is now considered an expert in black market adoption.
“As a baby sold at birth, I’ve made my way through life asking a lot of questions. Born and sold out of the Hicks Clinic in McCaysville, Georgia, to a couple from Akron, Ohio, as you can imagine, I grew up always looking for answers. I’ve made my way as an investigator, first as a novice and then as a professional. Gaining an education in English and Criminal Justice from the University of Akron,” her website said. “Beginning in the private sector in my late teens, cutting my teeth with basic private investigations research casework, to surveillance for workers compensation fraud and continuing with my work in birth family search, I’ve covered all the bases of working with people and situations. Today I’m considered a subject matter expert in the field of black market adoption search, my expertise is contributed to the decades in the making, unraveling of the mystery of Hicks Clinic.”
She began research into her own history, which led her to the discovery that she and more than 200 other babies were illegally sold to adoptive parents in Akron, Ohio by Dr. Thomas Hicks, a country doctor in McCaysville, Georgia.
4. Jane Blasio Is Working to Connect Hicks Babies to Each Other & to Their Biological Roots
Blasio is continuing her work to connect the other Hicks Babies to their biological roots through her website and McCaysville Lost & Found. Her services include a pro bono consultation and direction toward DNA testing.
John Stapleton was one of those she helped connect to his biological family.
“[Jane] has been fighting for me and for all of us for years,” he told the New York Post. “And she has never given up.”
Blasio wrote on her website:
In the 40s, 50s, and 60s, a doctor was selling babies from his small town abortion clinic in the heart of McCaysville, Georgia. Doctor Hicks was NO saint and we recognize his dysfunction, the pain he caused many, and have learned to bear it.
We are the Hicks Babies, parents, health professionals, and genealogists-a search and support group for those connected directly and indirectly to the Hicks Clinic in McCaysville, Georgia.
If you have a birth or restoration connection to the Hicks Clinic, you too are Hicks Clinic Alumni.
McCaysville Lost and Found serves as search facilitation and provides a touchpoint to Hicks Babies and families for support for those beginning, amidst, or completed their birth quest.
We share our stories, experiences, and subject matter expertise to provide a solid foundation for search and healing.
Initial consultation and guidance is provided pro bono, searches requiring extensive genealogy builds will have a fee attached on a case by case basis.
We walk you through the initial DNA submission with a DNA repository and review of the DNA connections that are made through your bio sample. Once we review the connections and give guidance on next steps, we will be available to troubleshoot as you make your way through your search.
If you decide to have your search conducted from beginning to end, we can direct you to our search professionals and a fee schedule.
We’ll always be available with a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on, and a lot of comedic relief to help you navigate the emotional journey.
5. Blasio Has Told Her Story Through Many Outlets Before Taken At Birth
Jane Blasio has shared her story multiple times through TV interviews and other news outlets.
“I’ve been interviewed many times on radio and television for my work with the Hicks Clinic. Most recently appearing as the investigative lead on the TLC docuseries, Taken at Birth, and continuing with appearances and interviews on behalf of TLC for the promotion of the program,” she wrote on her website. “Also included are past appearances on CNN Talkback Live, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, E! News, and numerous television news media and print media to discuss her work with the Hicks Clinic, include but not exclusive to: ABC Primetime, CNN Live, Fox News, New York Times; People Magazine, Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, and Readers Digest. My story has been included in Somebody Told Me: The Newspaper Articles of Rick Bragg, a compilation by Rick Bragg.”
Her latest appearance is on Taken At Birth on TLC. The three-part series airs Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at 9 p.m. EST.