Cyntoia was given up for adoption by her biological mother Gina Mitchell, who got pregnant when she was 16-years-old. By the time she was pregnant, Gina had already been raped. She hid her pregnancy, unable to cope with it as a teenager. Instead, she self-medicated by drinking, before, during and after her pregnancy. As a teenager, she knew Ellenette Brown and her family. When Cyntoia was two-years-old, she gave her daughter up for adoption to Brown. Later, Gina began using crack cocaine and turned to prostitution to support her habit.