Scott Merz was illegally sold into adoption and now is searching for his birth mother.

Scott Merz

Scott Merz, around the time of his adoption


He had recurring dreams of a hospital hallway

In November of 1959, 18-year-old Dylene Zolikoff was alone, scared, and seven months pregnant.  She was taken in by a nurse in San Antonio named Ethel Nation.  On January 6, 1960, Dylene gave birth to a healthy baby girl.  But while Dylene was still in the hospital, Ethel took the infant away:

“Ethel stole my baby. And I searched, I searched, I tried everything in San Antonio.  I talked to a lawyer.  Ethel wouldn’t help me.  I just couldn’t find my baby.”

Ethel Nation always denied that she had anything to do with the abduction of Dylene’s baby.  But in 1968, Dylene found a photograph of her daughter in Ethel’s house.  It took another 15 years of searching before Dylene and her daughter were reunited on national television:

“When I first saw my daughter, she smiled.  And I was just overjoyed… after all these years… I finally found her.”

While the story of Dylene and her daughter had a happy ending, the stories of two other young people who were sold by Ethel Nation are far from over.  Scott Merz was born in San Antonio in 1965.  His adoptive parents were unable to have children and paid Ethel twelve hundred dollars for Scott.  Scott grew up knowing he had been adopted.  But when he was 10, Scott began having a strange, recurring dream.  Scott’s dream seemed to be about the mother he never knew, and perhaps, the place where he was born:

“I remember walking through the main doorway. Feeling very cold.  I felt like very, very horrible things went on there. Beside this table, there was a man in a green robe and a lady dressed in white.  I don’t know what they were doing there.  When I woke up, I woke up almost screaming, I mean I was really, really scared.”

“I felt like very horrible things went on there.”

When Scott was 18, he and his adoptive mother, Mary, began an intensive search for his birth mother.  Scott started his search with a visit to Ethel Nation:

“She seemed really nice… like she wanted to help. 

Scott and Mary visited Ethel on six occasions. With each new visit, Ethel changed her story.  At various times, she told Scott he had been born in three different hospitals.  However, none of the hospitals had his birth records.  On the final visit, Ethel lost her temper and revealed what, she said, was the bitter truth about Scott’s mother:

“She told me that I was a bastard child, that all my mother was, was a slut, a whore and that I should have no right to even look for her, so for me to go home and for me to stop looking for her.”

Scott and Mary refused to give up.  They decided to visit yet another place where Ehtel said Scott had been born.  According to Scott, the place was a community health center known as the Woodlawn Clinic:

“The very minute that we walked in, I was completely stunned.  I couldn’t even talk.  The feelings that I got from this were just incredible.  I mean it was… a morbid type feeling but yet I felt like I had been there before.  And everything in this dream that I had back when I was ten was coming true before my eyes.  I was so happy that it made sense of the dream I had from many years ago.”

It was the hallway he’d seen in his dreams

But that was the only satisfaction Scott would receive.  Sadly, Scott never found his birth mother.  He did, however, meet a young woman who had a remarkably similar experience with Ethel Nation.  Dawnette Barker was adopted in July of 1966 by a childless couple from San Antonio.  As a last resort, Dawnette’s parents approached Ethel Nation after years of trying to adopt through state agencies.  Dawnette learned that on the night she was adopted, her parents had to choose between her and two other infants:

“Because my parents didn’t expect that things would happen so quickly they just thought they were going to go to see the baby.  But at that point Mrs. Nation told my parents that they could go ahead and take me home that night.”

When she turned 18, Dawnette found that her mother’s name was listed as Gloria Cantu.  The adoption papers had been notarized by Ethel Nation.  There is no way of knowing how many babies were sold by Ethel Nation, who died in 1991.  Scott Merz and Dawnette Barker now suspect that there may be dozens of young people who, like them, will not be able to rest until they are re-united with their natural mothers.  Dawnette Barker’s birthday is listed as July 21, 1966, but she may have been born weeks earlier.  Her mother, Gloria Cantu, may have been 23-years-old when Dawnette was born.


On the night this story aired, several viewers called on behalf of Dawnette’s birth mother Gloria Cantu Martinez.  A short time later, Dawnette spoke to her mother for the very first time and learned that Gloria had never wanted to give her daughter up for adoption.  Ethel Nation had tricked her into signing the papers.  Dawnette made plans for a long overdue reunion with her birth mother.  Within a few days, Gloria flew to see Dawnette in Washington, D.C.:

“I just couldn’t believe it. I’ve always wanted to find her and wondered what she was like, if she was married, if she had any children.”

The reunion was made even more special when Gloria met her four grandchildren for the first time.  Dawnette’s dream of having her entire family together had finally come true.

Scott Merz is still looking for his birth mother.

Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season five with Robert Stack and in season eight with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.




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    What was Scott’s adopted parent’s names first and last names. Did his adopted parents name him Vincent Scott


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    I see a lot of people addressing Scott but do not see any responses from him on this feed?? anyone know if he’s made any progress ?


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    My mother had twins a boy and a girl in the 50’s and suposedly the boy died and the other was stolen from my mom. She was tricked into signing papers. Her baby was never returned to her and it was adopted out without her consent and she couldn’t get her baby back and she never saw it again and no one would tell her anything. We don’t know where our mother had her babies or if it was at one of these San Antonio Clinics. It makes me wonder if Ethel was involved in this. Greatfully we have located this baby and unfortunately she didn’t get to meet our mother because she has passed away. But she would like to know who her biological father is and maybe her twin brother isn’t dead. Although we are so happy she found us, she now gained a family of 10 brothers and sisters!


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    Maria Patricia Ybarra

    Also born at Woodlawn Hospital
    San Antonio, Texas 1967.
    I am not adopted. I went home with my family when I was born.


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    I was born August 5,1965 in San Antonio. Adopted. Don’t know anything about myself. My late wife found the story, and spoke to Scott. She wanted me to get a dna test. I’ve been afraid of how it would feel to discover that some subhuman had stolen my life from me. I’ll get the test, but where do I do it Scott?


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      Please do a DNA test and you will be surprised to find your family.
      I used family tree , 23 and me, ancestry and my heritage
      Good luck!


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      I’m pretty sure my husband wrote that message. I would like to help him out. Please help me get in touch with Scott Merz.


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    Scott, I began a similar search in NY in my late 50s after my adoptive parents died. After about 3 years, I connected with 3 of my 5 siblings, who welcomed me. The biological parents were dead by that point, but I found out a lot about the family and hereditary health conditions. Texas may have 2 birth certificates for you, one public and one sealed. NY released info from my sealed certificate after a mandatory one-year waiting period. Try doing a public records request. Also, genealogical hobbyists in San Antonio may be able to assist you. Try the public library’s reference dept. Google is another great tool. Best of luck in your quest.


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    Scott, I’m so sorry for what you have been through. I can’t believe Ethel would sell newborns to other families for money. I hope she gets what she deserves.
    And I hope you’ll find your birth mother soon. I’ll be praying for you and everyone out there who has went through the same situation that involved Ethel.


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    Ethel Nation was paid, for 54 boys and 63 G Babies, she is still doing it, at the daycare, she has set up, a abduction, on field trips, hope this helps


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    Dawnette, How did you find out your bio mom’s real name?


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    Denna is right, Scott. You should try It can help you find your birth mother.


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    Greg Martinez

    This is crazy my birth certificate says Woodlawn Woman’s hospital in San Antonio Texas , I’m adopted. But my social security number from Kansas


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    Scott.I’m also searching for My twins. A boy and a girl born feb28,1980 in Charleston West Virginia hospital. They were taken at birth and the hospital in 2009,told I was never a patient there. I was 16. I don’t know who to turn too for help but best wishes in your search


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    Anthony Jones

    Has Scott tried to look into the Texas Birth Index at all? I know that in the episode it said that he seen his birth certificate and it had a false name on it of his mother. If you look at this info this might help him

    Name Scott Douglas Kneupper
    Event Type Birth
    Event Date 28 Jul 1965
    Event Place Bexar, Texas
    Gender Male
    Father’s Name Reno R Kneupper
    Mother’s Name Betty Jo Wilks

    According to the birth index, there was another child born named: Susan born 1955

    Both of the aboved parents are still alive. They had a grandchild who passed away in 2012. The above parents were in the obituary


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    I think Scott should sign up to Long Lost Family. Now, it’s been renewed.


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    Vicki H.

    Who ended up with the speed boat?


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    I am with a man with the last name Merz sparked my interest when I was watching unsolved mysteries. Don’t know if there is a connection but got me interested


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    Eric W Bohannon

    When he worked or went to the Super market, where he grew up, there was interaction with his mom, and I get that You have the same mouth and nose, and dirty blond and colors her hair, she has a small dog, as your eyes and forehead is genetically from Your Biological Dad. is what I get


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    Eric W Bohannon

    Your Real Mom is 4.5 mile drive, and she comes in to the proximity, You her son, and every time, she sees you, she know in her gut, She Cries For You, I see You helping her with a cart at the supermarket. Hope this helps.


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    Did Ethel nation ever get charged for these abductions? She’s ruined many lives very sad.


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      I’m Scott’s aunt. Miss Nation burned all the records and then died. If anyone was born there please contact Scott. His adopted mom died a couple of years ago. Scott told me there’s always a hole in his heart until he finds his birth mom.


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      Bobbie Rediker

      Did ethell nation ever face any charges? Is she still alive, did she have children of her own.
      She should be jailed. Was her license ever revoked.


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    Julie cooke

    I am also a baby that was adopted out by ethel nation… my adopted parents told me they paid ethel $1500 for me in 1968. i wish i could find some information on my birthmother or family contact info is


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    Is there any way to contact scott?


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    Do not give up. DNA will give you your answers to both your maternal and paternal families. I was a stolen baby and I tested with ftdna, ancestry, and 23andme. I found my two half sisters and an uncle (confirmed w/dna testing of my sister, a half sibling). I am now looking for my birthfather. I started searching in 1977. My sisters were told I died when I was 2 days old. When I met them the first thing they said to me is that our mother “would never have given you up. Never. ”
    I do not know if my mother was told the same story or not (she died a decade before I found my sisters). The test for family finder at all of the above databases is about $100 each. It will be the best money you will ever spend. DNA doesn’t lie like the baby brokers do. All of my court records were falsified. Everything. Even my birth month and date. Do not give up. Keep chugging along and let your DNA tell you the truth. DNA doesn’t lie. Thank goodness that adoptees now have a place to find the truth. Good luck.


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    Scott I’m so sorry to hear that you’re not having luck finding your parents. I know that this may sound funny but if I was in your position I would try anything anybody would suggest. That you’re not having luck finding your parents. I know that this may sound funny but if I was in your position I would try anything anybody would suggest. Did you ever consider contacting Dr. Phil? I know he has had a gentleman on his show that could track down long lost family members. I hope you find the answers you’re looking for.


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    There is a TV show in the United Kingdom called Long Lost Family. You can check it out on Wikipedia and read all about it. I think it’s time for us to have our own version of Long Lost Family here in America. Do you?


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    Dear Scott I was given away too : only baby pictures taken from me : made so hard for me to prove : Blonde baby in a incubator and me released to the people who were not my parents with red hair : I thought it was going to be impossible to prove : I prayed everyday for a answer I found it ancestry dna : Scott I found my second cousin as you and I both know given away that was a miracle : good luck I hope you find the strength to take this dna test find your ancestors it worked for me I hope it works for you : I am JANEDOE1687 on ancestry : My second cousin is a King : although he is not much of a sharer I know the truth: That’s what matters: good luck scott ” sincerely, denna , JANEDOE1687


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If you have questions, comments, or complaints concerning our privacy practices or if you wish to change, access, or remove your Personal Data, please contact us as indicated below.  We will attempt, where practical, to respond to your requests and to provide you with additional privacy related information.

Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. is the owner of this Website and retains all ownership rights to the information collected at this Website. Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. reserves the right to change, modify, add, or remove provisions of this Privacy Statement. Any changes to this Privacy Statement will be posted here, and we encourage you to check back from time to time. In addition, Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. will notify registered users of changes as they occur.

We allow third-party companies to serve ads and/or collect certain anonymous information when you visit our web site. These companies may use non-personally identifiable information (e.g., click stream information, browser type, time and date, subject of advertisements clicked or scrolled over) during your visits to this and other Web sites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services likely to be of greater interest to you. These companies typically use a cookie or third party web beacon to collect this information. To learn more about this behavioral advertising practice or to opt-out of this type of advertising, you can visit Your use of the site constitutes your agreement to accept cookies, beacons and third-party advertising. Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. assumes no responsibility for third-party ads.

ARTICLE 1. Personalization
1.1 We may use the contact information you give us to better tailor your Website experience to your interests, and to send you information about Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. and its services as well as promotional material on behalf of some of our partners. We may use other information that you provide to us to show you content in which you may be interested and to display the content according to your preferences. We will also share this information within Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. in order to enhance your experience on this and other Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. Websites.
1.2 In addition, we may share this information with advertisers or other third parties that are not part of the Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. family on an aggregate or other basis that does not disclose your identity or contact information.

ARTICLE 2. Online Surveys/Contests
2.1 From time to time, we may conduct online surveys and contests. These may ask you for contact information (like name or email address) and demographic information (like zip code or age).
2.2 We may use this contact information from our surveys and contests to provide you with information about our company and promotional material on behalf of some of our partners, and to contact you when necessary.

ARTICLE 3. Shopping/Commercial Services
3.1 This Website may offer shopping services, which may be offered by us or by a firm that operates a store under contract with us. If our Website offers shopping or other commercial services, you will use a customer order form to request information, products, and services. The order form will ask you to give us contact information (like name or email address), financial information (like account or credit card numbers), and demographic information (like zip code or age).

3.2 We will use the financial information that you provide to bill you for products and services. By giving our Website your credit card and related personal information, you are authorizing our store to give that information to the merchant and credit card company in order to confirm and fulfill your order.

3.3 We will use contact information from the order form to fulfill your orders. We may also use contact data to get in touch with you when necessary. We will not otherwise use or distribute your financial information without your prior approval.

ARTICLE 4. Public forums
4.1 This Website may make available chat rooms, blogs, forums, message boards, and news groups. Please remember that any information that you disclose in these areas becomes public information and you should exercise caution when deciding to disclose your personal information. Information disclosed by you or by others enters the public domain and may be freely used by any other persons or entities using the site.

ARTICLE 5. Information Sharing With Third Parties
5.1 From time to time we may enter into a special relationship with another company that is not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. to provide additional features at this Website. These special relationships may include “powered by” partners, business partners, sponsors, and co-branded sites (referred to here as “co-branded pages”). These might include, for example, pages that share our name and that of another entity. You should look for a specific privacy statement on any such co-branded page. Any personal information that you provide when signing up at one of those co-branded pages may be shared with our third party partner. You should also check our partner’s website for information regarding its privacy policies.

5.2 Also, the nature of some features of our Website may require that we share personal information about you with persons or companies outside of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. For example, this may occur at a feature that enables you, via our Website, to ask questions of persons or entities that are not part of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. By responding to those features of the site, whether by email or direct entry of information on our Website, you are consenting to our transferring that information to such persons or entities.

5.3 With respect to specific registration modules, like contests, we may disclose personal information collected, and we may post a conspicuous statement on the registration module to the effect that we will be disclosing the information collected with third parties.

5.4 Finally, we may share any of the information collected from you with these other non- Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc companies in an aggregate basis. The aggregated information is not linked to any information that can identify you.

ARTICLE 6. IP Address and Log Files
6.1 We may use your IP address to administer our Website, to help diagnose problems with our server, to analyze trends, to track users’ webpage movements, to help identify you and your shopping cart, and to gather broad demographic information for aggregate use.

ARTICLE 7. Cookies
7.1 This Website may use a standard technology called a “cookie” to collect information about how you use the Website. Cookies reside on your computer and help our Website to recognize your computer’s browser as a previous visitor. This information allows us to customize delivery of information. For example, our Website may use cookies to save and remember registration information or preferences that you may have set while browsing the Website, to keep track of your shopping cart, to ensure you don’t see the same ad content repeatedly, to deliver content specific to your interests, and to save your password so you do not have to re-enter it each time you visit our site. We use cookies only to gather information as indicated in this policy.

7.2 In addition, on occasion our site may also set a “session cookie” which helps us administer the Website. The session cookie expires when you close your browser and does not retain any information about you after it expires.

7.3 Finally, we may also use an ad network provider to help present advertisements on this and other Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. websites. This ad network provider, like other advertising service vendors, uses cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies on the hard drive of your computer to serve you advertisements tailored to interests you have shown by browsing on this and other sites you have visited, and to determine whether you have seen a particular advertisement before and to avoid sending you duplicate advertisements. In doing so, the provider collects non-personal data such as your browser type, your operating system, web pages visited, time of visits, content viewed, ads viewed, and other clickstream data. The use of cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies by these ad network providers is subject to their own privacy policies, not ours, and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. assumes no responsibility for the collection or use of such information.

ARTICLE 8. Banner Advertising
8.1 We have contracted with an ad-service to place banner advertising on our Website. All of the data provided and generated by the ad-server software remains in our possession. This feature of our Website may, on occasion, set “cookies” on your computer. Any information collected or stored by the ad-service or the cookies is treated in the same manner as other information described in this statement.

ARTICLE 9. Children’s Personal Information
9.1 Consistent with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act:

9.1.1 This site does NOT collect, use, or disclose personal information (including online contact information) of children under the age of thirteen (13).

9.1.2 In the event that a child under the age of 13 attempts to register on our site, we will NOT accept the registration and will delete information received from the child.

9.1.3 In the event that a child posts personal information in a public forum such as a chat room, we will attempt to delete that information once we become aware of it.

ARTICLE 10. Security of Your Personal Information
10.1 Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. employs reasonable security measures consistent with standard industry practice, for information collected through this Website. We believe that we have adequate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of the information we collect on our Website. We also use internal protections to limit access to users’ personal information to only those employees who need the information to perform a specific job.

ARTICLE 11. Sale or Merger
11.1 If this Website is sold to, or merges with, another company not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc., you should expect that some or all of the information collected from this Website may be transferred to the buyer/surviving company. If so, CMP will seek to obligate the acquiring company to use any personal information transferred by this Website in a manner consistent with this statement, but cannot guarantee that it will be able to impose that requirement or that the acquiring company will comply.

ARTICLE 12. Legal Process
12.1 You should be aware that Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. may be required to disclose your personal information to the government or third parties under certain circumstances, such as in court or regulatory proceedings.

ARTICLE 13.  Contacting the Website

13.1        If you have any questions about this Privacy Statement, the practices of this Website, or your dealings with this Website, please contact us at:

ARTICLE 14.  general information

14.1        Choice of Law:  This Agreement and the Additional Terms shall be governed by, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of California , as it is applied to agreements entered into and to be performed entirely within such state, without regard to conflict of law principles.

14.2        Choice of Forum:  You agree that any cause of action you or Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. brings to enforce this Agreement and/or the Additional Terms, or in connection with any matters related to this Website and/or the Privacy Statement, shall be submitted to arbitration in the County of Los Angeles, State of California, United States of America in accordance with the commercial rules and regulations of the American Arbitration Association then in effect (as amended herein), provided that said arbitration shall be heard before a single arbitrator, who shall be a retired judge, selected pursuant to such rules and regulations, and shall be conducted on an expedited basis and in confidence. The arbitrator’s decision shall be controlled by the terms and conditions of this agreement and any other agreements I may enter into with you, and shall be final and binding, and shall provide for each party to bear its own costs of arbitration and attorneys’ fees.  Each party expressly waives any right to a jury.  Judgment upon the award of the arbitrator may be entered or enforced in any court of competent jurisdiction. 

14.4        If any provision of this Agreement, or the application thereof to any person or circumstances, is held invalid or for any reason unenforceable then such provision shall be deemed superseded by a valid, enforceable provision that matches, as closely as possible, the original provision, and the other provisions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect.  The failure of either party to insist upon strict performance of any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right.  Unless expressly provided otherwise, this Agreement is the entire agreement between you and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. with respect to the use of this Website and shall not be modified except in writing, signed by an authorized representative of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc.

ARTICLE 15.  European Union and Other Foreign Nations

15.1        This Website is governed by and operated in accordance with the laws of United States of America and is intended for enjoyment of residents of the United States.  Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. makes no representation that this Website is governed by or operated in accordance with the laws of other nations.  By using this Website and submitting any personal information, visitors from outside of the United States acknowledge this Website is subject to U.S. law, consent to the transfer of personal data to the U.S., and waive any claims that may arise under their own national laws.