—Premiering in October, the six-hour special event exposes new secrets, shares bittersweet reunions and unearths a grave that reveals surprising DNA connections—
(Silver Spring, MD) – Over three nights this October, TLC’s TAKEN AT BIRTH will share the untold stories of the “Hicks Babies,” the name given to more than 200 newborn babies illegally sold or given away from the back steps of a small-town Georgia clinic run by Dr. Thomas J. Hicks during the 1950s and 1960s.
In 1997, the shocking news story broke, revealing that Hicks was alleged to have spearheaded a black-market baby ring out of his clinic, denying over hundreds of babies their true identities and biological families. Since the undercover operation was exposed, many Hicks Babies have desperately searched for their origins, yet decades later, they are still looking for their birth parents. To this day, a cloud of secrecy remains around Dr. Hicks himself and the notorious adoption ring that changed the course of hundreds of lives.
“Sharing emotional family journeys is a part of TLC’s DNA and we are proud to tell the profound stories of loss, hope and reunion that make up TAKEN AT BIRTH,” said TLC President and General Manager Howard Lee. “This special event shows a different side of TLC, while embodying the heart, hope and human connection that speaks directly to our viewers.”
The Hicks Babies share an urgency to find their roots and uncover the truth about Dr. Hicks’ clinic before the clock runs out. At the helm is lead investigator Jane Blasio, the youngest of the known Hicks Babies, whose resolve helped break the story, and who has since dedicated her life to finding out the truth. After 20 years of hard work and heartbreaking dead ends, Jane is determined to get some answers. To aid in the search, she enlists TLC’s LONG LOST FAMILY co-hosts Lisa Joyner and Chris Jacobs, hoping their investigative skills and experience reuniting families, combined with the benefit of today’s advanced technology, will finally provide results. Together, they set off on a journey to solve a decades-old mystery, reunite birth families and ultimately help them find closure, acceptance and truth.
Each two-hour episode is punctuated with raw, emotional reunions that often turn bittersweet. Following the hugs, laughter and tears, many of the Hicks Babies find themselves torn between the overwhelming joy of finally being reunited and the reality of missing out on these relationships for so long, bringing closure for some and new questions for others.
Interlaced with the long overdue reunions, is Jane, Lisa, and Chris searching for answers that have haunted the Hicks Babies for years. Why did Dr. Hicks start selling babies? Were some mothers misled into believing their babies were stillborn when they were actually alive? And the monumental question that’s been looming over the Hicks Babies community for years: Were any of them biological children of Hicks himself?
Standing between Jane, Lisa, and Chris and the truth are long-since buried secrets, and without any known medical records, they have their work cut out for them. Despite the obstacles, the investigative team – with the blessing and cooperation of the Hicks Babies community – works tirelessly to try and bring answers to the families impacted by Dr. Hicks’ actions, from conventional DNA searches and door-to-door interrogations, to a mausoleum search. They even follow along as one Hicks family member exhumes the grave of a relative with the hope of helping others, and to find her ultimate truth.
Throughout the journey, they experience epic reunions and devastating disappointments, encounter unexpected twists and turns, and break through old barriers to uncover new evidence that may finally provide the truth for many Hicks Babies, and that could help the search for others moving forward.
TAKEN AT BIRTH is produced for TLC by Good Caper Content, an ITV America company.
Offering remarkable real-life stories without judgment, TLC shares everyday heart, humor, hope, and human connection with programming genres that include fascinating families, heartwarming transformations and life’s milestone moments. TLC is a top 10 network across key female demos.
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