From the moment he came into the world, John Thomas Brady Reiber was the center of a controversy. Born to Marlo Ungerschterner and destined to be the adopted child of Abe and Lexie Carver, Stefano DiMera and Dr. Wilhelm Rolf soon arranged to switch Marlo's baby and Hope's baby because Stefano believed that he was the father of Hope's child. Even though they soon discovered that Stefano was not the father (causing them to believe that John Black was), it was too late by then to switch the babies.
Bo and Hope soon began to raise little J.T. as their own, having named him after their good friend John, and Hope's grandfather Tom Horton. Their hearts broke for their little boy when they realized that he suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome, and Hope blamed herself and what she could possibly have done while under the influence of Princess Gina. That was nothing compared to her guilt when Jennifer Deveraux's car went off the road, and J.T. was believed dead. As time went on, Hope realized that John was J.T.'s father, conceived while Merc-mode John and Princess-Gina Hope had sex in the submarine. For a long time, they kept that secret, but Bo eventually learned the truth, almost leaving Hope for it.
Just when Bo and Hope thought they could start their lives together, there was another snag. Glen and Barb Reiber had come to Salem looking for the child he had with his former lover, Marlo Ungerschterner. They learned that Abe and Lexie had Marlo's baby, but Glen felt a connection to J.T. that he couldn't deny. Having become convinced that J.T. was his son, Glen had DNA tests performed. Although his wife Barb originally got rid of the results because she wanted Glen to focus on his life with her and their upcoming baby, she finally caved and told Glen the truth.
Glen and Barb soon became the most hated couple in Salem because they were trying to get custody of Glen's son, and Glen's son was a strong link between the Brady and Horton families, two of the most beloved families in Salem. They took Bo and Hope to court, and the couple was absolutely devastated when the judge awarded custody of little J.T. to his natural father. Glen and Barb allowed the Bradys to say their goodbyes to J.T., and in a final act of gratitude for all that Bo and Hope had done for the little boy, Glen and Barb revealed that they planned to keep the same name, so their son would be known as John Thomas Brady Reiber, and promised to keep in touch, telling Bo and Hope they were welcome any time.
On May 1, 2002, the Reibers departed Salem for their home in Iowa, planning to raise J.T. as their son along with the child Barb was pregnant with, that they had just learned was going to be a little half-brother for J.T.