For most people, discovering as an adult that they were illegally sold as a baby from a clinic in Georgia by a corrupt abortionist would be earth-shattering.
But though the path hasn’t been easy, Jane Blasio today sees her past as a testament to God’s faithfulness, protection and sovereignty — even amid the most excruciating of circumstances.
“God’s been there from the beginning,” the 56-year-old told The Christian Post. “He’s proved, over and over again, that He does not need me to be strong. He just needs me to lean into Him and let Him be strong for me. He has redeemed so many parts of my life and been faithful, even when I have not.”
When Blasio was 6 years old, she was told by her parents that she was adopted. However, she told CP she started to get an “inkling of the peculiarity” of the situation when, in her teens, she began searching for her birth records and discovered that what she’d gone through was anything but a legal adoption.
“I realized, ‘This isn't going to be as easy as I thought it was going be,’” she recalled. “That’s when this investigation went from a little pitter-patter into a big crescendo.
Blasio's decades-long search to find her birth parents ended up exposing the unthinkable: She was one of 200 babies sold in an illegal operation run in the 1950s and 1960s by a Georgia abortionist named Thomas Hicks.
Through years of exhaustive work, Blasio went on to help dozens of the now-grown infants — known as "Hicks babies" — discover their own past and help them track down their birth parents and other relatives.
“People started coming out of the woodwork,” she said. “I would meet them in person and ask some really basic questions to get a feel for what it is that they're looking for. If they had the right mindset, I would tell them, ‘Fasten your seatbelt, because this is going to be the ride of your life.”
Blasio recounts her search to uncover her past, her shocking discoveries and her faith journey in her new memoir Taken At Birth. Though her story has been widely covered and even inspired a TLC docuseries in 2019 in which Blasio is featured as the investigative lead, her book shares behind-the-scenes details of the investigation and focuses largely on God’s faithfulness throughout her life.
“This book isn't about me,” she said. “This book is about everybody that has been touched by both the darkness and the light with the Hicks Clinic. God opened the doors and said, ‘It’s time.’”
After learning from her adoptive parents, Jim and Joan, that she and her sister, Michelle, were adopted from Dr. Hicks, Blasio spent her teen years learning about her past. She recalled how she’d scour information at her local library about the abortionist, who died at age 83 in 1972, and his clinic.
Following Joan’s death in 1988, Blasio traveled from Akron, Ohio, to McCaysville, Georgia, to do some in-depth investigating. There, she visited the Hicks Clinic and interviewed locals, knocking on doors to fill in the gaps of her story.
“It was difficult because Dr. Hicks didn’t leave much of a trail,” she recalled.
Though some in the town defended him for providing a “service” to townsfolk, what Blasio learned of the abortionist after more than three decades of investigating was nothing short of gut-wrenching.
In her book, she documents how Hicks performed illegal abortions — some of them forced — on vulnerable women, carried out medical malpractice and often exploited his underprivileged patients. Many babies carried to term were sold by Hicks through a back window of his clinic, some of them ending up in unsafe or abusive homes.
“There was no safety net. There was no way to go back and see if these kids were OK,” Blasio said. “And that's what makes the difference between a legal and illegal adoption, and Dr. Hicks was only one step away from doing that. I think that’s the saddest part of all of this.”
Though Hicks’ motives were unclear, Blasio said she believes he simply found a money-making niche. She described him as “just a man who got caught up in his own schemes” who, she reveals in her book, eventually lost his medical license in 1964 for performing abortions illegally.
“He just did what he wanted to do because there was nobody there to stop him,” she said. “He was extremely calloused.”
Yet, it’s her faith, Blasio said, that allows her to forgive the man who so brazenly sold her and hundreds of other babies with little concern for their future.
“If you’re a believer, forgiveness is not just an option; God says we’ve got to do that,” she said. “But the best thing about forgiveness is you get to choose to forgive someone, and then once you've chosen to forgive them, God will stand there for you and help you come around to a full circle and even help you love them.”
“And I think that’s where he brought me with Dr. Hicks, with my parents and with others,” she continued. “He's given me that forgiveness. He just waited for me to say, ‘OK, I'm going to forgive them.’ And then He came in and totally cleaned up the situation.”
Though her story is heavy, Blasio stressed that there are light parts to it, too, like meeting individuals through her investigative work that would become some of her dearest friends. And in searching for her identity, she said, she discovered her identity as a daughter of Christ.
Still, her Christian walk hasn’t always been easy: Blasio revealed that though she became a Christian at the age of 21, she walked away from the faith for 14 years while grappling with the various traumas in her life.
“I was chasing after a bunch of garbage, trying to escape all the baggage in my life,” she reflected.
In 2014, Blasio heard the Holy Spirit say: “Are you done yet? Are you coming home? When are you going to be finished with this and let me bring you home?”
“I came back to Him and I said, ‘OK God, here’s everything,’” she said. “Fully surrendering to Him changed my perspective on my story.”
Today, Blasio said she shares her story to encourage others that whatever challenges they face and whatever pain is in their past, there will always be hope found in Jesus Christ. And as she continues her work helping other “Hicks Babies” uncover their past and find their relatives, Blasio asked other believers to pray for her.
“Through my story, I want people to be able to experience a sweet tea firefly-sitting-on-the-front-porch kind of love,” she said.
“I want them to know what unconditional love is, and I want them to seek it through Jesus Christ. There is nothing more important than then getting to know Christ and accepting Him as Lord. And that’s the most important discovery I’ve made in my life.”
Taken at Birth is now available for purchase.
Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org