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Twins, separated at birth and adopted, end up married

Guest Night Phantom

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Guest Night Phantom

Parted-at-birth twins 'married'

A pair of twins who were adopted by separate families as babies got married without knowing they were brother and sister, a peer told the House of Lords.

A court annulled the British couple's union after they discovered their true relationship, Lord Alton said.


The peer - who was told of the case by a High Court judge involved - said the twins felt an "inevitable attraction".


He said the case showed how important it was for children to be able to find out about their biological parents.


Details of the identities of the twins involved have been kept secret, but Lord Alton said the pair did not realise they were related until after their marriage.


'Truth will out'


The former Liberal Democrat MP raised the couple's case during a House of Lords debate on the Human Fertility and Embryology Bill in December.


"They were never told that they were twins," he told the Lords.


"They met later in life and felt an inevitable attraction, and the judge had to deal with the consequences of the marriage that they entered into and all the issues of their separation."


He told the BBC News website that their story raises the wider issue of the importance of strengthening the rights of children to know the identities of their biological parents.


We are naturally drawn to people who are quite similar to ourselves

Pam Hodgkins

Adults Affected by Adoption

"If you start trying to conceal someone's identity, sooner or later the truth will out," he said.


"And if you don't know you are biologically related to someone, you may become attracted to them and tragedies like this may occur."


Pam Hodgkins, chief executive officer of the charity Adults Affected by Adoption (NORCAP) 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," she said.


"But when we are unaware of that relationship, we are naturally drawn to people who are quite similar to ourselves.


'Incredibly rare'


"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 the situation was traumatic for the people involved, but incredibly rare.


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


Today, however, adopted children grow up with a greater knowledge of their birth families - and organisations try to place brothers and sisters together.


If that were not possible, the siblings would still have some form of contact with each other.


"This sad case illustrates why, over the last 20-30 years, the shift to openness in adoption was so important," Ms O'Reilly added.


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Guest Night Phantom

Both. If they didn't know anything for a really long time and weren't raised as siblings, it shouldn't really matter if they don't want it to. The concern with incest is the product of the marriage having mental deficiencies, but if just don't have any kids I don't see a problem.

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I'll let you try & get that law passed. :)


It's not your point I understand, but the social stigma there that would be pretty difficult to overcome. Digging really deep down to the core or it, yeah if it's not affecting anyone else, sure go nuts. No kids to mess up or traumatize. If a couple is okay with the social consequences of it.



Let's raise the stakes.


If you were separated from your parents at birth, then in your twenties you hooked up with an older woman and found out it was your mother.... I assume you'd take the same position?

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Guest Night Phantom

I'm talking about the difference between falling in love with someone and hooking up with someone. The fundamental differences on those two separate types are astronomical.

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I'm not disputing that. Forget that I typed "hooked up", that wasn't the distinction I intended to make.


Exact same situation you're describing and replace sister with mother.


Long lost son meets older woman, the two feel a bond and fall in love, misplaced or whatever it may be, and discover they're mother-son.

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Guest Night Phantom

I don't think that's a situation you can honestly judge from the outside looking in because of the emotions involved (same with the situation with the twins, hence my original question) but if future offspring weren't a problem I don't see the big deal. I mean, Freud would expect it to be totally kosher after all.


I think the problem might lay more with the mother in that scenario than the son.

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