To be completely honest, when I first discovered, at age 26, that I had a half-brother, my first concern was, "Oh geez, I hope I didn't date the guy" (I didn't, BTW... A round of High Fives, anyone?). There was another case in the news several months back about a sibling couple in Germany. They have four kids, and are determined to stay together, in spite of the father being sentenced to jail for incest. Their situation is a little different though, and harder for the squeamish (like Chelle) to understand, because they knew they were siblings when they "got together." Shall I say it again, or do I try to be mature about it? Nope. Here it comes. EEEWWWW. EEEWWWWWWWW. Vomiting in my mouth. And EEEWWWWWWWWWW.
The details of the following story are pretty sketchy, and in fact, I kind of wonder if this could be an invention on the part of the lawmaker to get his agenda pushed through. Regardless, he has a point. I think he's right. Whether or not this did happen; it could and has happened. And people do have a right to know from whom and where they came.
British case forces review of rights of children to know identities; AP
LONDON - Twins who were separated at birth got married without realizing they were brother and sister, a lawmaker said, urging more information be provided on birth certificates for adopted children.
A court annulled the British couple's union after they discovered their true relationship, Lord David Alton said.
"Everyone has a right to knowledge about their lineage, genealogy and identity. And if they don't, then it will lead to cases of incest," Alton said during a telephone interview Friday.
Alton first revealed details of the unusual case last month during a five-hour debate about a bill that would change regulations about human embryology.
"I was recently involved in a conversation with a High Court judge who was telling me of a case he had dealt with," Alton said according to a transcript of the Dec. 10 debate. "It involved the normal birth of twins who were separated at birth and adopted by separate parents.
"They were never told that they were twins," Alton said. "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."
Alton gave no additional details and would not reveal the name of the judge who told him about the case.
The High Court's Family Division declined to discuss or confirm Alton's account about the twins.
A child's right to know
Alton, an independent legislator who works at Liverpool's John Moores University, said the siblings' inadvertent marriage raises the wider issue of the importance of strengthening the rights of children to know the identities of their biological parents, including kids who were born through in vitro fertilization.
Under British law, only a mother has to be named on a birth certificate. Such certificates also are not required to identify births that result from IVF or to identify the sperm donor.
In addition, British law does not require parents to ever tell children that they were the result of donated sperm.
Alton believes this should be changed.
Alton said he favors an amendment to the Human Fertility and Embryology bill — which is still being debated in the House of Lords — that would require birth certificates of children born from donated sperm to say that and to identify the genetic father.Referring to the twins' case, he said: "If you start trying to conceal someone's identity, sooner or later the truth will come 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."