While stationed with the Army in Hawaii in 1980, Steve and Pat Carter sought to adopt a child and met the 3 1/2-year-old, fair-haired boy. The Carters adopted him and named him William Steven Tenzin Carter. They called him Steve. Tree decades later, however, the Carter’s life took a very sharp turn when their son, adopted 32 years ago, unlocked a shocking secret, several news outlets reported.
Steve Carter, 35 said he recently became interested in learning more about his biological background. Though very happy with the life he had made with his adoptive family, Carter said that there were mysteries shrouding his past that had sparked his curiosity.
It was then that the Pennsylvania man made his astonishing discovery: He found his own photograph on a website for missing children.
“My first thought was, ‘Oh my God, that’s me,’” Carter told reporters.
Carter then called the Honolulu police and the department set up a DNA test. Now, the true story of his past has begun to come to light.
His adoptive parents said: “For several years after his adoption, Pat and I had a nagging fear that someone might pop up claiming to be his biological mother or father. When nobody did, our anxiety eventually passed.”
“The social worker told us that the boy had been in foster care for three years, ever since his mother, Jane Amea, was arrested in Honolulu in June 1977,” Steve senior added.
She had her baby with her at the time of her arrest inside a stranger’s house. Taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation, Jane then disappeared. After three years no other family was found so the little boy was eligible for adoption.
According to Hawaiian authorities, born Marx Panama Moriarty Barnes, Carter was reported missing by his biological father more than three decades ago after his mother, Charlotte Moriarty, took him for a walk in 1977 and never returned.
Carter told CBS News that he believes Moriarty put him in the Hawaiian orphanage — changing his name, his birthday and the race of his father.
This January, Carter decided to contact his newfound relatives over the phone.
“I was absolutely, positively thunderstruck and amazed,” said Carter’s biological father, Mark Barnes, of the first time he heard his son’s voice.
According to Carter, who has also connected with his half-sister, his biological mother disappeared without a trace after a stint at a psychiatric hospital.
He said that he “still hopes to connect with her someday.”