Man Finds Birth Mother In Manila 30 Years After Getting Lost In A Market

Thirty years after getting lost, Joel De Carteret knew he had to find his birth mother. He couldn’t remember her face. He didn’t know her name. But he returned to the country of his birth determined to track her down. He needed to see her again. He needed her to know that he was alive and well.

Although he couldn’t remember much about her, DeCarteret did remember the most important thing: “I just remember this presence and this love that came out of my mum.”

It’s another real-life story that resembles the plot of the recent award-winning film Lion (which was also based on a true story). A five-year-old boy got separated from his mother in a busy market, ended up in an orphanage, and was adopted by a nice family in Australia, where he grew up loved and safe.

In a country populated by over 100 million people, it seemed like a lost cause. De Carteret’s (adoptive) mother tried to prepare him for the impossibility of finding his mother. She used the word when, rather than if, when speaking of his failure. But, as the narrator of the feature states, “The power of love can overcome truly impossible odds.”

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Rachel Skousen

Rachel has a long-held passion for adoption that was sealed through her work as the content manager at She currently works as a content specialist at, finding and sharing amazing adoption content from across the web. She is a mom of three and loves reading and napping in her spare time.

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