Kriste Hughes was sold when she was a week old. Kriste’s mother was told that her child had a bad heart and eventually passed away. Devastated, she signed her death certificate — and that was that.
Thomas Jugarthy Hicks was a doctor in the 1950’s and 60’s who would fake the deaths of newborn babies to their mothers and then sell them to out-of-state couples. He did this with about 200 babies, pulling in between $800-$1000 for each. The nickname “Hicks Babies” are given to the 200+ newborns who were illegally sold into black market adoptions.
When Kriste was 51, she decided to give Ancestry.com a try and was able to get in touch with her first cousin who then revealed that two of her aunts gave birth at the same place she was born. One aunt had already passed away, but the other was still alive and had a son — potentially Kriste’s biological brother.
DNA tests proved that her biological mother, Thelma Tipton was alive and well.
In the video below, mother and daughter meet for the first time and embrace each other in tears. Tipton says, “He robbed me of my life … I missed out seeing [Kristie] growing up, missed out on her first tooth … her first day in school … I missed out on her wedding, I missed out on everything.”
For Doctor Hicks, he passed away in 1972. The 200+ babies he sold were never accounted for.