In 2003, the woman Jill had always thought of as her mother, Liz Foster, discovered she had a brain tumor. Fearing that her time on Earth was limited, Liz decided to tell Jill that she was adopted. Liz survived, but the secret left Jill reeling. After a long search, she discovered Charlotte Ramsey's name on her birth certificate.
John sat in Gina's looking through his old high school yearbook. He talked with Gina Roma and told her he recently met someone and thought he had dated her younger sister in high school. When he mentioned her name, Gina immediately knew he was talking about Charlotte. She hesitated a bit, but then told him she had met her with Jill Abbott, and that she had had way too much to drink--in fact, she had brought her own flask to the restaurant.
John got up to leave and told Gina he was going to talk to Katherine. "She may have some answers I am looking for." Once he arrived at Katherine's he realized he needed to keep their conversation brief, as she wasn't feeling well. They briefly talked about Billy Abbott and Mackenzie Browning's impending nuptials, but Katherine really didn't want to discuss trying to fight them.
John asked her about the Ramsey family and said he remembered them moving abruptly after some sort of shameful situation with Charlotte. After a little bit of stalling, she finally admitted knowing Charlotte and knowing what happened. She told him they became friends because she had nowhere else to turn.
Looking pained, she told him she wouldn't wish what happened to Charlotte on her worst enemy--not even on Jill. She went on to say Charlotte had a wild streak and when she got pregnant, her family practically disowned her. After a heavy sigh, she said some things should just be left buried in the past. John asked her one last question: did Charlotte give the baby up for adoption?
Katherine turned around, surprised, and said that Charlotte had gotten an abortion. Charlotte went to Jabot Cosmetics, which made Jill very happy. Charlotte immediately started asking questions about Katherine, and Jill gave her the short version of their long history. (At that time, Jill believed that Charlotte was her birth mother.) She insulted Katherine, calling her a boozehound, and then immediately apologized to Charlotte for the name-calling.
Changing the subject, Jill asked Charlotte for her phone number and address, so she could reach her when she wanted to. Much to her surprise, Charlotte told her no, because Jill was trying to reform her. Jill promised she wouldn't hassle her, but Charlotte was not going to give up her information. She finally told Jill she didn't have a phone, and that the place she lived at was not very nice.
Immediately, Jill said she would set her up in a suite at the Genoa City Hotel, and Charlotte's eyes lit right up. John continued to question Katherine about Charlotte and asked again if she was sure she had an abortion. After all, he said, it was dangerous back in those days. Katherine briefly told him right after high school, Charlotte was intent on becoming a singer and went to New York to pursue her dream, but found a whole world of trouble instead.
She went on to say she met up with a man who got her pregnant and left her and that her parents disowned her. She got another abortion and Katherine nursed her back to health. This time, she wasn't able to have any more children. Because Katherine was so visibly upset by retelling the story, John left it alone and told her good night. After he left, she sat on the couch and cried.
Jill waited at a table alone for Liz to arrive. Gina briefly joined her and asked if she was meeting her birth mother again. She said a few kind words to Jill about being adopted, but the conversation was stopped short when Liz came. After greeting each other, Liz began asking a lot of questions about Charlotte Ramsey.
Jill told her how generous she felt Liz was being, and thanked her for being so understanding. Liz asked when her next set of plans were to see Charlotte, and Jill told her she thought her idea of bonding would be to sit at a bar with friends. Liz immediately expressed concern, and Jill told her Charlotte was harmless.
Liz replied that drunks are never harmless and Jill replied they shouldn't be judging her. She warned Jill not to let herself get sucked in and not to see what she wanted to see. At that point, John walked back in and came over as Jill was leaving. After she left, he and Liz began talking and repeated some of the information he got from Katherine.
He expressed concern that Jill may not be her daughter and that he felt uneasy about the entire thing. Liz agreed and they agreed that Jill was starting to make a huge emotional commitment to this woman and that she would be devastated if it didn't work out. Back at home, Jill placed a call to the GC Hotel. Once connected to Charlotte's suite, she told her she was just calling to hear her voice and to let her know how much getting to know her real mother meant to her.
Jill went to Frederick's office to thank him profusely for helping her find her birth mother. Although Charlotte wasn't perfect, Jill hadn't expected her to be. She knew she'd lived a hard life, and she did seem to have a bit of a drinking problem, but at least she was a happy drunk. Frederick was glad that Jill was feeling so positive about Charlotte. He wondered if a grateful hug was all he could get. Jill kissed him, and then Frederick shared his good news. Not only was Brittany home, but she wasn't pregnant. Jill wondered if Brittany's return had helped him and Anita get close again, but Frederick said no. She was choosing to believe that he and Jill had sex during their night at The Lodge and she didn't want to hear the truth.
John told Ashley Abbott the story about Charlotte and the contradiction in the facts. Although Charlotte said she'd given Jill up for adoption, Katherine was positive that the Charlotte Ramsey she knew had undergone a botched abortion and could never have other children. Ashley wondered if there could be two Charlotte Ramseys, but John didn't think it was likely. Ashley said that it could be a case of fraud; after all, Jill was a wealthy woman. She also pointed out that if Jill found out Charlotte was deceiving her, it would be bad for business.
Jill would be so wrapped up in her own drama that she wouldn't be able to concentrate. John asked if Ash thought he should continue to look into this on Jill's behalf. Although something didn't add up, Charlotte hadn't come looking for Jill; Jill had sought out Charlotte. Ashley said there could be some mistake, and if John felt it was the right thing to do, of course he should look into it. Ash just hoped he didn't expect gratitude from Jill, because none of John's good deeds would go unpunished.
Katherine was shocked when she saw Charlotte back in Genoa City a short time later, but still didn't piece together her connection with Jill. John, also a former schoolmate, recognized Charlotte.
With the truth about her barrenness about to surface, Charlotte went to the Chancellor Estate and confronted Katherine on May 20, 2003. Charlotte then told Kay that Jill was her biological daughter. Decades earlier, shortly before Gary Reynolds returned from an extended trip, Katherine gave birth to a baby and handed it over to a school friend named Charlotte Ramsey, with instructions to give the baby up for adoption. Unfortunately, Charlotte was unable to drop the baby off as planned, and was forced to give her own name as the child's birth mother.