Ever since he was a child, Martin Hauser yearned to know who his biological parents were.
Fifty-nine-year-old Martin was adopted in 1962 as an infant. Thirty years ago, he started searching for his birth family with the blessing of his adoptive mother. Sadly, he hit nothing but dead ends for years.
All Martin knew was that he’d been born in Guilford County in North Carolina. He now lives in Tucson, Arizona, with his wife. Over the years he’s tried every DNA test imaginable, but due to North Carolina laws he was never able to dig deeper into adoption records to produce the name of either parent.
In 2019, he got his first break in decades with a state statute that allowed organizations to give out limited information to adoptees. He started working with the Children’s Home Society, and it wasn’t long before they located the death certificate of his father, Joseph B. Shaw, Sr.
“On the bottom, it said next of kin. Joesph B. Shaw Jr.,” Martin explained. “Within 15 minutes on Facebook, I found him.”
Joe Shaw lives in Westfield, North Carolina, where he’s lived all his life. He grew up having no clue that he has an older brother, so he was beyond stunned when he received Martin’s Facebook message. After some prompting from his fiancée, Melissa, he returned Martin’s message.
In the first 5 minutes of corresponding they learned that they have the same mother and father, making them full biological brothers! The two began to talk on the phone just about every day and made plans to meet in person.
In April 2021, they finally got their chance when Martin and his wife flew to North Carolina for an emotional reunion. Martin wore a shirt that said “Big Brother Finally!” and neither man could believe their good fortune in finding one another.
The reunion came at the perfect time, because Joe and Melissa were getting be married. This event provided the perfect way to introduce Martin to his family.
“All these years, I never knew I had a brother,” Joe told CNN. “It was very emotional. So many things going through my head and just trying to convey what was going on because it was the weekend I was getting married.”
Martin and Joe both feel like a missing piece of the puzzle has slipped into place, and they look forward to getting to know each other. Martin says he hopes their story encourages other adoptees who are searching for their biological families to never give up!
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