This Georgia Doctor Illegally Sold Over 200 Babies, And His Black-Market Adoption Scheme Was Only Uncovered 25 Years After He Died

famveldman - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual baby

In Georgia, more than 200 newborn babies were illegally sold or given away in the 1950s and early 1960s. As a result, people today are still searching for answers as to who their biological families are. They are known as the “Hicks Babies.”

The person responsible for these black-market baby adoptions was Dr. Thomas J. Hicks. He ran a clinic in the small town of McCaysville, Georgia.

He performed illegal abortions for $100, so women from all over the state came to see him for his services. He also secretly placed infants with parents in adoptions that were kept off the record.

His black market business began in the early 1950s. Hicks advertised illegal abortion and adoption services on phone booths, bridges, and bus stations. He managed to talk some of the women out of having an abortion. Then, after they had their babies, he would sell the infants to couples for $800 to $1,000.

Apparently, he lied to some of his patients, telling them that their baby had died. Hicks gave the adoptive parents a fake birth certificate, erasing all evidence of the birth mothers.

In 1964, he gave up his medical license to escape prosecution after he was caught performing an illegal abortion. He died from leukemia at the age of 83 in 1972, which was 25 years before the story of the undercover adoptions was revealed.

The truth came to light in 1997 after several Hicks Babies learned more about their backgrounds. In 2014, they were able to conduct DNA tests on themselves in the hopes that it would lead to family matches.

One of the Hicks Babies, Melinda Dawson, is just one among hundreds of the doctor’s victims. In 1962, her adoptive parents paid $1,000 for her. They were instructed to walk in through the front door of the clinic, pick up the baby, leave out the back, and return home immediately.

Dr. Hicks has a large mausoleum that bears his name at Crest Lawn Cemetery. During an investigation into the illegal adoptions, experts entered the mausoleum, hoping to discover more information. However, it was empty. The doctor’s body is believed to be buried next to the mausoleum.

famveldman – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual baby

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