Meredith Anderson">

Special Assignment: Black Market Babies?

Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry

How much does it cost to use the registry? (Source)

  • Registration: No Fee
  • Non-Identifying Summary: $35
  • Non-Identifying Summary for Adoptive Parent: No Fee
  • Search: $300

What if I don't want to be contacted by the party searching for me? (Source)

"The Reunion Registry cannot release identifying information without written consent of the person being sought or a court order. If you want to protect your right to privacy, you must file an Affidavit of Non-Disclosure with the Adoption Reunion Registry. If there is a court hearing, you may be contacted if you have not filed this affidavit."

Free In-Depth Consultation

The Reunion Registry is now offering In-Depth Individual Consultation Services, either in person or on the phone, to:

  • Help prepare you for the wide range of possibilities once you decide to move forward with your search.
  • Help you sort through various issues you may be facing in your reunion.

Click here for more information.

Click here to contact the GA Adoption Reunion Registry.

News 12 at 11 o'clock, February 18, 2010

AUGUSTA---A News 12 investigation is getting the attention of a state agency, and it could mean answers for hundreds of people all over the country looking for their families. We're talking about the victims of Augusta's alleged black market for babies. Many believe judges and a court officer worked to sell children for a profit. A lot of those children, now adults, thought they'd never be able to find their biological parents until now.

As a North Augusta Public Safety officer, Landon Terry solves mysteries for living, and he says "that's pretty ironic, because over the years I've helped a lot of people solve a lot of their problems, and I've had no luck solving my own."

Landon thinks he was ripped from his birth mother's arms and sold when he was born. He doesn't know much about that day. He only has a few documents that name him "Baby Boy Cooper." His mother and father's names are missing from those records, but he wants to find them. Landon says he "would have a lot of closure. A lot of answered questions."

We first met Landon several months ago when he came to News 12 looking for those answers. We tracked down a woman named Barbara Seeger in North Carolina who was looking for answers too, so we set up a meeting between her and Landon.

Landon: "I've never really met a mother looking for their child."
Barbara: "Oh, I will never give up."

Landon is looking for his mother. Barbara is a mother looking for her child. They aren't related, but their search is--because it starts with the same woman, Elizabeth Hamilton, or Bee, as she was known. Bee was an officer with the Richmond County Juvenile Court. She's accused of threatening women like Barbara and taking their babies away from them. She would then allegedly sell the kids, like Landon, and pocket a profit. At least two other judges were allegedly in on this scheme, and it may have happened for decades to hundreds and hundreds of people. After seeing Landon's and Barbara's stories on News 12, one of those hundreds picked up the phone.

"She saw your newscast and got in touch with our investigator, who got in touch with me to let me know we had some work to do together," says Peggy Rothschild, the head of the Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry in Atlanta. She's very familiar with the name Bee Hamilton.

Peggy: "She was very sure to do things legally. There's plenty of documentation."
News 12: "So, a lot of these people who thought 'there's not a record of me'...that may not be the case after all?"
Peggy: "Right. That may not be the case at all. There is a good chance there is a record."

Finding that record is the tricky part, but if it exists, Peggy and her team of state investigators can probably find it. According to Peggy, they've "helped most people who've come to the reunion registry who've had some dealings with Bee Hamilton."

So far, Peggy says that's been dozens of people like Landon and Barbara. The problem is, Landon and Barbara didn't know how to find her. Peggy says "a lot of adopted persons and birth parents don't have a clue as to how to get to us."

But now they do, and both Landon and Barbara are in contact with Peggy. Maybe soon, both will be in contact with their families.

That makes Landon "ecstatic, because I've hit so many dead ends over the years, and to hear that somebody can do it is just flabbergasting." So, while Landon investigates crimes in North Augusta, he knows he has a team investigating him in Atlanta. He's hopeful his mystery will finally be solved.

The Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry is a state agency, and there is a fee for investigators to look into your case. It's $300, but they don't want to turn anyone away, so they will work with you on the price. It usually takes anywhere from three to six months to get answers.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Sue on Nov 6, 2011 at 05:56 AM
    Born 5/22/48 in Spartanburg, SC-was allegedly one of the black market babies through Dr. Robert Leonard and possibly Bea Hamilton. Adoption records are sealed and need court order to open. Would like to know my real heritage and if I have brothers and sisters.
  • by janet Location: augusta,ga. on Dec 9, 2010 at 07:26 AM
    5 yrs. ago i searched and found my birth family.also because i wanted my real family and she threatened me found were orginal birth certificates at the courthouse.i was adopted with a sibling.i don't think it was a legal adoption.i was taken to bee hamilton. when i was 12by my adopted mother after her husband died..she abused me and my brother. bee told me if i did that she would have to lock me up in y.d.c.the father had already suffered 2 heartattacks before one will answer any of my questions.when i started looking my adopted mother stared shredding papers and cleaning house.does the birth cerficates still being at courthouse mean it was illegal adoption.and if someone age 39 with 2 heart attacks be able to adopt?
  • by tena Location: ohio on Feb 27, 2010 at 04:35 PM
    looking for family.born56-57.trying to find my twin.fake birth cert by dr.hicks fake adoption inchatham cty.does not show up in atlanta.taken to ohio,the other twin is stil in georgis.found a name of Ina marie bell on baptismal cert.death cert numbers name aM.Davis on the 2 death cert.the numbers showing where bio mom ccame from were changed to fannin cty by judge linda davis after she entered office preventing more than 200 infANTS from finding teir real families there are many more here.
  • by angie Location: north augusta on Feb 20, 2010 at 09:40 AM
    My husband has 2 brothers who were taken by bea hamilton we found the twin sisters who grew up right here in augusta we believe the brothers may have been adopted by separate familys or together but we feel they all grew up right here in this area.I have been told that the number of people right here in this area could be standing in line at the grocery store next to their brother or sister and not even know it.Because alot of the adoptive parents lived here.ALOT! The bio parents are deceased but I think a reuion of the brothers and sisters would be so wonderful,my husband grew up a only child he thought and always wanted brothers and sisters.One brother was born Nov. 22,1956 and was taken at 10months old the other brother was born Jan.25,1959 and taken from the university hospital as were the twins.Thank You Meredith for keeping this storey alive, most people that grew up in this area have knowledge of bee hamilton and were afaid of her.I pray more people will try to find their family.
  • by Sonny Location: Cloumbia Co. Ga. on Feb 20, 2010 at 07:53 AM
    As a young boy I grew up in Harisburg neer the cooper home and had interaction with the kids there and went to School with many, and was aware qf the story of Bee as how she could take babies as she wished and do as she pleased with them.
  • by Phyllis Location: Augusta on Feb 20, 2010 at 12:51 AM
    This is scary because i was very little and remember this lady coming around lake Olmstead like all the time everyone feared her cause she was always threatening to take someone away , wow ~
  • by Karen Location: Augusta Ga. on Feb 18, 2010 at 08:22 PM
    Hello,My name is Karen and I have no doubt I am a black market baby. My Grandma Jo and Bea were friends and my godfather was Frank Story where my Grandma was head nurse. I have been told a whopper of a story but just that facts are I was born on 3/27/63 and there is nothing at the hospital and my Birth Certificate says Baby Girl (my mama has the original)the one I have has them as my parents.Anyway BIG MYSTERY that I wish would have a ending Happy or Sad...I have been looking steady now for 20 years and I am fixing to be 47 in March. I saw a woman named Barbara on the news for a second is she looking for a girl for 3/27/1963 if so could she be?????
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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