Man finally meets his birth family after 30 years of searching and nearly 60 years apart

Martin Hauser finally met his biological brother and birthmother after decades of trying.

Martin, 59, was adopted in North Carolina months after he was born in 1962. His sister and he were told that they were adopted at a young stage. Martin was adopted in Greensboro.

Martin, who now lives in Mesa in Arizona, was born in Greensboro and attended junior high school in Spartanburg in South Carolina. After his parents divorced, Martin and his adoptive mom moved to Tucson, Arizona.

His adoptive mother always encouraged him to find his birth family, and that’s exactly what he did for 30 years. It proved extremely difficult.


Adoption records can’t be viewed in North Carolina. When he started having his own family in the early 1990s, Martin requested family medical information from Guilford County’s child services department, but no identifying information could be released then.

After taking his first DNA test in 2017, his search for answers accelerated. He started to build his family tree using the help of a volunteer. She spent months looking through his birth certificates and US Census records, DNA tests results, and many other documents.

The search led to the name of a woman, her birthday year, and a line leading to a baby. Martin knew that this could be his mother, as her birth year was the same as the one he received in the non-identifying information.

Martin was then informed of a state law change in 2019. An 2008 measure allowed for an independent party to act as a confidential intermediary to help a birth parent/adoptee initiate a search.

Martin started working with the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina to search for his biological parents. In December 2020, he had a breakthrough when the organization found his birth father’s death certificate.

Joe Shaw and Melissa Shaw

In 2008, his dad died and his next of kin was Joseph B. Shaw Jr. Martin found his biological brother via Facebook within 15 minutes.

“I sent him a message that day, short little message, explaining who I am and who I am to him, and we have the same father and to call me,” he recalled.

Joseph, 58 years old, responded to the email with his phone number on January 7. He is a North Carolina resident who has lived in Westfield his entire life.

When they began talking, they discovered they had the exact same mother, which means they were full-blooded brothers.

Martin and Joseph had a lot to catch up on, so they ended up talking for three hours. They only took a short break to tell their families.

Since then, the brothers have been texting or talking daily. Soon, Joseph informed Martin that he was engaged to Martin and would soon be getting married.

Martin and his wife, along with some of their grandchildren and children, attended the April 25th wedding to meet the family.

Martin Hauser and Joseph Shaw Jr. hugging at the airport in Greensboro

Two days before the wedding, the long lost siblings enjoyed an emotional reunion at Greensboro Airport.

“We hugged and we kissed our cheeks and we cried on each other’s shoulder,” Martin said. “My little brother is 6’4″ and I’m 5’11”, so he rubbed me on the head and he asked me if it was good to be home in North Carolina. I said yes.”

Martin even wore a shirt that said “Big Brother Finally!” to mark the special occasion.

Martin met many cousins and other family members at his wedding. Their biological mother was also present.

Martin was not known by anyone because his mom and dad did not tell anyone. Joseph was just three months when his parents left him with the paternal grandmother who raised him.

Joseph last saw his mother 13-years ago, when he moved her from Florida to North Carolina.

Martin Hauser, his wife, and Joseph Shaw Jr. at the airport in Greensboro

The day before his wedding, Joseph insisted on taking Martin to their mother’s house.

“When we got to her house, she told me how much she loved me. She said love is not a big enough word for what has just happened,” Martin said.

Their mother claimed that their father was cruel and never gave them any money. She was also ill and in and out the hospital at the same time. She knew she couldn’t raise their kids, so she had no choice but to give them up.

Martin was inspired by this experience to help others in North Carolina locate their birth parents, siblings, and adopt out children.

“I don’t want someone to spend 30 years looking for them,” he said.

Click on the video below to witness the brothers’ emotional reunion.

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