When official channels did not arrive to a young Swiss man looking for his birth family, he, Marco Hauenstein, 19, faced towards Facebook to continue his search with no idea how widely his post would be shared.

With very difficult beginning of his life, as the few facts he knows about his mother. Gina Barbara Hauenstein was a drug addict and spent time in Zurich’s then Platzspitz open drugs scene, where addicts used to buy and inject heroine in the city centre park openly.

guy and his mother

Marco was born in 1997 and had to spend the initial months of his life in hospital withdrawing and recovering. Although his mother visited him often but never lived with her. Coming on to his father, he has no clue about him and even the space for father’s name in his birth certificate is also blank.

Missing Mother

Gina Hauenstein disappeared in 2000. No trace of her has been found despite the police search both within Switzerland and across Europe. She remain listed in missing persons.

Marco's Mother missing

Meanwhile Marco lived with a foster family. He says his childhood was good but his birth family was always on his mind.

When turned 16, he left his foster family. Not unusual, macro says his relations with his foster family is good and has improved since he started to live independently.

Search Began

He started looking for his family and in particular for his mother. “I really wanted to know, for myself, who was my family, who I belonged to.So, when I was 16, I started to call town record offices, and I contacted the police. But without success.”

One things get to know that he was not adopted as he knows his mother’s name and from which town does his mother and her parents belong.

Use of Social Media

The idea of Facebook seemed logical and posting on social media was easier for him than cold calling official figures.

Using name Marco Julius Schelling, he posted a message on Facebook without any expectation. His message was shared across Switzerland and Germany many times and soon media started taking interest.

Marco lost mom


Post on Facebook:

Dear friends, acquaintances & fellow human beings

My name is Marco Hauenstein, and I was born on 17.06.1997 in the Aargau/Zurich region. After going through drug withdrawal as a newborn for 3-6 months I grew up with the Jung family, and later with the Schelling family.

After searching for many years without success, I’m turning to you. I’m looking for my birth parents / grandparents!


“I’ve had thousands and thousands of messages,” he says. “I really didn’t expect this.”

Initial Success

His Facebook post has had some success when an aunt and a half-sister of his mother reached him, he says, and he has a talked to her on phone.

“It was very emotional, we didn’t talk much, it was just, ‘Hello, so good to talk to you after all these years’.” The plan is “that we will meet tomorrow… I think we will meet tomorrow”.

Guy searching mom

Marco also got information about his grandfather, an uncle and even some hints about the identity of his father.

Media Stepped In

He fixed a meeting with her aunt but could not reach her. The reason was clear, social media attention and mainstream media attention caused problems.

Happy Ending?

The hopes for Happy ending for Marco seems partially fulfilled. One failed meeting with her aunt and post on his Facebook page: “On Friday I was able to meet my grandmother and my uncle.It was a very moving moment, at last I have got a part of my family back!”

His aunt need more time before agreeing to meet him.

Guy looking for family

Time will tell whether he will ever feel completeness which he want to. His mother remain key person in his search. The police, local authorities, Marco’s new found relatives has no clue where his mother is since 17 years.

Optimistic Macro Continues his Facebook search.

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