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article imageCouple with child shocked to discover they are siblings

By Christopher Szabo     Jun 1, 2010 in Lifestyle
Dublin - A young Irish couple have discovered they are half-brother and half-sister after a two-year relationship and raising a child together.
The New Zealand Herald reported the couple were “stunned,” but said they would stay together and planned to have more children. The couple spoke on condition of anonymity. The two are both in their twenties and are from different towns in the Irish province of Leinster, and they experienced a strong attraction when they met at a nightclub. According to the Gawker blog, We got on very well. We are very similar in what we like and dislike. We really hit it off. We agreed on everything. I'd been in relationships before but I just knew this was different. We met that night and after a week it felt like we'd known each other forever.
The man said told the Irish Mail on Sunday, quoted in the NZ Herald:
I'm not blind and I'm not oblivious to what people might think. We're not from a bad background and if someone had said to me that they were in a relationship like this, I would have said they were sickos.
Apparently, the confusion as to who they were was caused by the couple not being allowed to discover the true identity of their father – who is the same man. The young man in the relationship had not seen his father, or a man he believed his father, since he was a boy and also had a difficult relationship with his mother.
The unnamed young man decided to make it up with his mother, which was when he began to discover the truth:
My mother was by herself and I was just going to call in and see her before Christmas."I started to tell her about my girlfriend and our child.
The mother, when she heard who the girl’s parents were, was deeply shocked:
My mother got hysterical. She just put her hands on her face and said: 'You're not serious.' I thought: 'She has lost it.'"
Some days later, his mother’s family told him the truth, namely, that his girlfriend’s father was also his own father. At first he wouldn’t believe it:
But somehow in the back of my mind I knew it was true. When I was growing up, I always knew something was being held back.
“Gentle questioning” and DNA tests proved the truth. They were half-brother and half-sister.
The young man’s father, about four years after discovering he had a child, began a legal battle to gain access to his son, but the court decided – in spite of his being the real father – that he would not be given access and his son would not know the truth.
The siblings are now considering bringing a lawsuit against the psychologist and the judge who brought the decision. The case would be a landmark first in Ireland.
Incest has long been a taboo worldwide. The great religions, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as well as traditional tribal cultural norms, have banned incest, probably because of the fear of birth defects caused by inbreeding, although there have been notable exceptions. These have normally been where royal couples were closely related, such as in Ancient Egypt and Hawaii.
The best-known story of ignorance of parentage and the resultant tragedy is that of the Ancient Greek poet Sophocles' tragedy, Oedipus Rex.
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