[personal profile] 7rin
Do we need a law against incest?

The European human rights court has upheld a German ruling against sibling incest, but some questions remain unanswered

Paul Behrens 15 April 2012

The European court of human rights is no stranger to controversy. Last Thursday, however, Strasbourg played it safe and did the expected. The court ruled it was all right to have a law against incest.

The man who brought the case was Patrick Stübing – a young German, who was separated from his family as a little child. When he was in his 20s, he looked for and found his biological mother. He also found his sister, with whom he fell in love. After their mother's death, the siblings began a sexual relationship, which produced four children.

It is not the only case in which biological siblings met only later in life and began sexual relations. One of the theories to explain the phenomenon is that the absence overcomes the "Westermarck effect" that usually applies: kids who grow up together tend to become desensitised to mutual sexual attraction.

Read more... )
[personal profile] 7rin
Genetic sexual attraction

You're 40, happily married - and then you meet your long-lost brother and fall passionately in love. This isn't fiction; in the age of the sperm donor, it's a growing reality: 50% of reunions between siblings, or parents and offspring, separated at birth result in obsessive emotions. Last month, a former police officer was convicted of incest with his half-sister - but should we criminalise a bond hardwired into our psychology? Alix Kirsta talks to those who have suffered the torment of 'genetic sexual attraction'

The Guardian, Saturday 17 May 2003

At first, Ivor Lytton's emotional predicament seems unremarkable, no different from the woes that make up any agony aunt's weekly column. On Sunday October 4 1998, Lytton, an Edinburgh public relations consultant, met the love of his life. The meeting took place at a dinner party at a fashionable country inn. Rita Meadows, who lives in South Africa, was on holiday in Scotland. Describing their meeting, Lytton's words overflow with sentiment. "From the moment we met, I was smitten, and continued to be drawn to her like a magnet. As I got to know her, I felt she had given me a life transmission. She put a smile in my heart and a spring in my step." Each October for the past four years, he has sent her a card to commemorate the date of their meeting.

What Lytton didn't know was that the consequences of that love would plunge him into the most devastating crisis of his life. Read more... )
[personal profile] 7rin
Couple discover they are siblings: Child courts blamed after strangers fall in love, have a son - and then find out they are half-brother and sister
By Valerie Hanley
UPDATED: 17:27, 30 May 2010

A young couple have revealed how they fell in love after meeting at a nightclub, moved in together, had a child – and then discovered they were, in fact, half-brother and sister.

The extraordinary discovery was confirmed by DNA testing just last month. It has left the couple stunned and shaken – but they are nonetheless vowing to stay together and have more children.

They both blame the legal system which prevented the young man from being told his true identity. He only discovered who he really was long after he and his half-sister had got together and had the child.

Read more... )
[personal profile] 7rin
Forbidden love of the brother and sister
Last updated at 15:43 01 March 2007

Had it stopped at an appropriate point, the story of Patrick Stuebing and Susan Karolewski could have been poignant and moving.

Separated by adoption in their native East Germany, the siblings met for the first time in 2000 when Patrick tracked down his birth mother and the younger sister he had never met.

If their mother, Ana Marie, were alive today, however, she would, in all likelihood, be wishing her estranged son had never found his way home.

Because for the past seven years, brother and sister have been lovers. In that time they have had four children together - two of whom are mentally and physically disabled and all of whom are now in care.

Read more... )
[personal profile] 7rin
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-507588/Shock-married-couple-discovered-twins-separated-birth.html
By FIONA BARTON
Last updated at 22:30 11 January 2008

The harrowing story of twins who were separated at birth and married each other without realising they were brother and sister was revealed today.

When the unnamed couple realised the shocking truth about their relationship, they had their marriage annulled at a secret High Court hearing. A judge ruled the union was legally invalid.

The couple's plight was revealed by the former Liberal Democrat MP Lord Alton, who is fighting for children to have greater rights to know the identity of their biological parents.

The peer, who raised the twins' story during a House of Lords debate on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, said: "I learned of this heartbreaking story from the High Court judge who dealt with the case.

"We were having a casual conversation about the potential problems for donor- conceived children accidentally marrying each other and he said this could also happen in naturallyconceived children."

The judge told Lord Alton that the twins had been parted at birth and adopted.
Neither knew they had a twin and when they met as adults they did not realise they were related but felt "an inevitable attraction".

It was only after they married, according to Lord Alton, that they became aware of the "appalling" truth and sought to have their union dissolved. Marriages can be annulled in cases where there is a "prohibited degree of consanguinity" - blood relationship.

The case came before a judge, sitting in private, in the High Court Family Division where, according to Lord Alton, "he had to deal with the consequences of the marriage that they entered into and all the issues of their separation".

No other details about the couple, their relationship, or the annulment have been made public but the peer added: "It was appalling for this couple to discover they were married to a close relative.

"And I believe the Government will leave itself open to class actions in the future if it collaborates in keeping information of this kind from children who have been donor-conceived."

Lord Alton and his supporters want the genetic history of a child recorded on its birth certificate.

The matter will be debated next week at the next reading of the controversial bill.
He said: "One of its provisions is to deny the child's right to know about its biological identity.

"This means the state is colluding in a deception. The Government has drawn up legislation that will deny you this knowledge until you are 18. But you could be married by then, or have fallen in love with someone.

"This will lead to these heartbreaking situations.

"If you start trying to conceal someone's identity, sooner or later the truth will out.
"And if you don't know you are biologically related to someone, you may become attracted to them and tragedies like this may occur."

Audrey Sandbank, a family therapist and author of Twins and Triplet Psychology, said the twins are likely to have felt "like soulmates" when they met for the first time because of their shared genes.

"This is a terrible trauma for them. They lost each other as babies and now they have lost each other again. They have been bereaved twice."

Pam Hodgkins, chief executive of the charity Adults Affected by Adoption, said there had been previous cases of separated siblings being attracted to each other.

"We have a resistance, a very strong incest taboo where we are aware that someone is a biological relative. But when we are unaware of that relationship, we are naturally drawn to people who are quite similar to ourselves.

"And of course there is unlikely to be anyone more similar to any individual than their sibling."

Mo O'Reilly, director of child placement for the British Association for Adoption and Fostering, said such an incident was traumatic but very rare.

"Thirty or 40 years ago, it would have been more likely that twins be separated and brought up without knowledge of each other."

But she claimed that there was far more openness today with adopted children about their birth parents and background.

Last year, a German brother and sister who were separated as children and fell in love after being reunited campaigned for the right to continue their relationship. Patrick Stubing was jailed for two years for incest after he had four children with Susan, who by then he knew to be his sister.

The 29-year-old locksmith was given up for adoption as a baby and did not meet his real mother or sister until he was 18.

The couple, who live near Leipzig, claim they fell for each other when their mother died and are fighting to have the laws regarding incest changed.

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