' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Is it incest? Genetic sexual attraction between adoptees and first parents

Monday, December 1, 2014

Is it incest? Genetic sexual attraction between adoptees and first parents

Jane
Romantic attraction between parents and their children or between siblings separated by adoption is almost unheard of outside the adoption-reunion community, but it's more common than many think. According to the online The Independent, a study by University College London found "half  of reunions were accompanied by anything from temporary attraction to obsessive sexual obsession."

I had tender, nostalgic feelings for my 31-year-old daughter Rebecca when we first reunited in 1997. Like someone who is newly infatuated, I couldn't get her off my mind. I was anxious about every phone call and every email. Eventually, the intensity of those feelings subsided. Other mothers have talked about the desire to stroke and touch their newly found children, as if they were still babies we could fondle and pat their hair.

For some newly reunited adoptees and their first parents, though, the attraction evolves into sexual feelings and can result in sexual intimacy. Sometimes adoptees and new-found siblings find a very strong connection.

GENETIC SEXUAL ATTRACTION
Sexual attraction between biological relatives is often referred to as genetic sexual attraction (GSA), a term coined by first mother Barbara Gonyo who wrote of her attraction for her reunited son in I'm His Mother But He's Not My SonGonyo never attempted a sexual relationship--her son was unaware of her feelings--and eventually her desire ran its course and settled into "a normal love" for him, "The seductress in me is gone."

According to Gonyo, "The natural taboo of sex with relatives" doesn't work in adoption reunions. "If you ask an adoptee or birth parent who is sexually attracted to their new found blood relative if they would ever consider having sex with their adoptive relative, or an adopted sibling, the answer would almost always be a loud, 'No, of course not. They're my parents or my brother or sister.'" These same people do not feel the taboo of sex with their new found relatives, because the taboo is in the natural instinct of family [which grew up together]." And these new people do not seem like "family" to them in the sense they grew up together, or have known each other all their lives.


Genetic sexual attraction came to my mind because my husband Jay, a criminal defense attorney, is representing a man who has had a sexual relationship with the daughter he met after she turned 18. Although the daughter had not been adopted, she had spent much of her life in foster care, and so they did not "know" each other as father and daughter.

THE LAW AGAINST INCEST
Oregon law, like the laws of many states, provides:
(1) A person commits the crime of incest if the person marries or engages in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with a person whom the persons knows to be related to the person either illegitimately or illegitimately, as an ancestor, descendant or brother or sister of either the whole or half blood.
(2) Incest is a Class C felony [punishable by up to five years in prison]. (ORS 163.525)
Incest is illegal because of the societal taboo, and because inbreeding does increase the likelihood that children will have genetic defects. It's noteworthy that the risk of inadvertent incest is not considered significant enough in most states to allow adult adoptees and first parents and to obtain records which would disclose the identity of the other.

Yet this was the exact argument used in England in 2008. Twins who were separated at birth got married without realizing they were brother and sister, a legislator told the British House of Lords while arguing the government should strengthen the rights of children to know their biological parents' identities. Never told that they were twins, they met later in life and felt an inevitable attraction. David Alton, the British lord 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." He argued that both the mother and father should be named on all birth certificates, including the children conceived by donated sperm or eggs. 

Other cases of brothers and sisters, separated by adoption, have also come to light recently, according to stories in The Independent and ABC.

The risk of genetic defect, however, may not be as great as commonly believed. ABC reported that a study in the Journal of Genetic Counseling indicated that cousin couples have only a 2 percent more of a chance of having children with birth defects as compared to unrelated couples. Cousins, however, are not siblings.

The incest taboo goes back to long before Gregor Mendel began breeding peas. Oedipus is punished for an incestuous relationship with his mother even though it was inadvertent. On the other hand, the ancient Egyptians encouraged marriage between siblings as a way of perpetuating the royal lineage. Cleopatra married her half brother, among others. Although not addressed specifically by Oregon law, the prohibition against incest often extends to affinity relationships such as in-laws, step relations, and relations through adoption. This is explained as necessary to protect the integrity of the family unit, that is avoid family conflicts.

WHO IS THE VICTIM, WHO IS THE PERPETRATOR?
Social anthropologist Martin Ottenheimer believes it is time the change the incest taboo against cousins, although he doesn't go as far as accepting closer relatives. Although I cringe at the thought of a father-daughter sexual intercourse, I'm not convinced sex between consenting adults, no matter what their genetic or affinity relationship is, should be illegal. A father and daughter can have a long and loving relationship as attested to in an anonymous post on reddit. The author, adopted as an infant, is living with her natural father whom she met as an adult. They hold themselves out as girl friend/boy friend.

In criminal cases alleging incest, it's impossible to distinguish the victim from the perpetrator. If my husband's client is guilty of a crime, so is his daughter. It's conceivable that courts may strike down incest laws as unconstitutional using the same reasoning the Supreme Court used in Lawrence v. Texas to strike down laws prohibiting sodomyJustice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority "The petitioners are entitled to respect for their private lives. The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime. Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government."

While I don't think sexual relations between consenting adults should be a crime, I would caution against it relations between close relatives. Those seeking reunion need to be aware of the feelings that may arise and be prepared to deal with them.  For those who have encountered GSA in their life an online forum, The GSA Community, allows them to discuss their experiences privately.--jane
________________________________________
SOURCES

Twins married without knowing they were siblings, British legislators told

The IndependentGenetic Sexual Attraction: husband and wife discover they are brother and sister
Forbidden Love, updated in 2011 as I'm His Mother but He's Not My Son
ABC NewsBrother and Sister, and Lovers
Incest -- Wikipedia
California Incest Laws
Father and daughter living together as boy friend/girl friend
Lawrence v. Texas, 539 US 558, 578 (2003)
The GSA Community Forum
Brazilian woman Adriana is told on Radio Globo’s The Time Is Now program husband is in fact long-lost half-brother

TO READ
I'm His Mother But He's Not My Son 
"Barbara Gonyo tells of the relinquishment of her son and her search to keep her silent promise to him that she would someday find him. She shares her feelings of a love she discovers that breaks the taboo of family love and brings on feelings that left unchecked would become incest. In her 22 years of leading an adoption support group, her honesty in sharing these feelings have brought hundreds of other reunited adoptees and birthparents and siblings to her asking for help 
in resolving these forbidden feelings of bonding. The warmth of love mingled with the feelings of guilt and shame are openly discussed."--Amazon

The Deep Green Sea: A Novel by Robert Olin Butler
"...a memorable and incandescent love story between Tien, a contemporary Vietnamese woman orphaned in 1975, when the city finally fell to the Communists, and Ben, a Vietnam veteran who returns from America to a war-torn land, seeking closure and a measure of peace. Bit by bit they learn more of each other's pasts. Secrets are revealed: Ben's love affair with a Vietnamese prostitute in 1966; Tien's mixed racial heritage and her abandonment by her bar-girl mother, who feared retribution from the North Vietnamese for having given birth to one of the hated "children of dust." In Butler's hands, what follows conjures the stuff of classical tragedy and also achieves a classic reconciliation of once-warring cultures. Infused equally with eroticism and with Butler's deep and abiding reverence for Vietnamese myth and history, the novel is a landmark work in the literature of love and war."--Amazon. Lorraine adds: This is an amazingly beautiful novel. It is unforgettable.

THANK YOU FOR ORDERING ANYTHING THROUGH THE PORTALS OF FMF 

32 comments :

  1. GSA is real, and a very strong feeling. Thankfully most don't act on it. I think it's something they would regret in the long run. I think it's more common for adoptive families to ignore the taboo of sex with "relatives." I know too many adoptees who were molested by adoptive parents and extended family members.

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    1. ,,,many adoptees who were molested by adoptive parents and extended family members.

      And so do I.

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  2. When I was a court-appointed CI, I helped facilitate a number of mother-son reunions. I always gave both parties a little 'heads up' about the phenomenon of GSA ahead of their actual meeting. The way I explained it to them was this: The first time an adoptee touches the flesh of - or embraces - blood kin, there can be an unexpected reaction. It can be intense, and the only life experience that the adoptee can relate it to is a sexual one. On the mother's part, her intensity of feeling may be extremely maternal. Denied bonding with her baby, she may have throwback impulses that are confusing and disconcerting. Put these two bewildering reactions together and the result can cause great discomfort and even recoiling from one another.

    In one case, I had a mother tell me she was so glad I had prepared them both for these feelings, because when she met her son, she had one of those 'moments.' He was opening the car door for her, and as she was standing very close to him and their eyes met and locked for just a flash, there was an electric moment when she had this almost overwhelming desire to kiss him. She sensed he was experiencing the same thing, but she knew that he had been prepared for the possibility, so she reacted in a way that comfortably diffused the situation. She laughed out loud and reframed the moment, "Look at us! You'd think we were high school kids on a date or something instead of mother and son meeting for the first time." He laughed, too, and the reunion was off to a good start.

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    1. Very good advice, Adoption Digger. I was at workshop once where it was explained that these intense feelings are usually not really sexual, but that is the only context our society has for intense feelings of connection which then become upsetting, confusing, and in some cases guilt and fear inducing. In situations like this a little humor goes a long way, as Adoption Digger. illustrates in her anecdote.

      One of the many reasons for adoptees to have free access to true birth information is to prevent the possibility of inadvertent incest between relatives who do not know they are related. England had that one right and it is very sad this has happened to some people.

      ON the other hand, have little sympathy for those who enter into an incestuous relationship knowing they are relatives, and feel this should remain illegal, adoption separated or not. Any parent who says their found son is not their son when they know he is, or more commonly in situations where it is acted upon, their daughter is not their daughter, is deluding themselves and harming a younger person. Whether both are "consenting adults" or not does not speak to the power imbalance between a 19 year old daughter just reunited and her 40 year old father. Regardless of feelings, he at least should have the strength and decency not to act on incestuous impulses. I know of several daughters who broke up relationships with birth fathers who hit on them. Adoption separation is no excuse for deliberate incest at any age. And yes, it is incest and it is wrong.

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    2. I agree 100% with Maryanne's comment. I was very disturbed by this post.

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  3. Sage advice, Adoption Digger. Put like that, I t really is not that complicated or hard to understand. I think the emotions of reunited people are often so mired in confusion they are unable to tell one feeling from another.
    Reunited or not, parents who take advantage of their children don't get a pass from me.

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  4. The subtle connection you drew, in alluding to striking down sodomy laws, between incest and same-sex relationships offended me.

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    1. The connection I drew between striking down sodomy laws and incest laws was not subtle but obvious. It's an argument others have made including Boston College professor Kent Greenfield in a recent article. http://prospect.org/article/slippery-slope-polygamy-and-incest.

      Personally I oppose sodomy laws and support gay marriage. I'm not comfortable with father/daughter incest. However, if I were defending a client charged with incest, I would make this argument.

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    2. The point Jane made above was so obvious I ignored when I read it. She is talking about the reasoning behind legal arguments, and to make is seem that she is not prejudiced against homosexuality struck me as absurd.

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  5. Jessica, please show us where that inference was drawn. I don't think I'm insensitive on this issue but I can't see where there is any connection between incest and same-sex relationships here either inferred or in fact. You mean because Jane admits to a feeling of infatuation between her first daughter and herself? And they are both women? I'm sorry, I almost find this laughable. And as you are a mother by adoption, you would not have experienced the sense of bonding that first mothers crave when their children are born and they taken away.

    From what we can tell, most first mothers upon reunion feel such intense feelings towards their children, whether they are female or male. The bonding and touching and cuddling that we were denied surfaces. If you wish to see this as offensive or find a connection here between "incest" and "same-sex relationships"...I am speechless.

    Please do point out where you find a connection in Jane's post between the feelings that surface in first mothers upon initial contact in reunion and same-sex relationships.

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  6. Jane wrote":Personally I oppose sodomy laws and support gay marriage. I'm not comfortable with father/daughter incest. However, if I were defending a client charged with incest, I would make this argument."

    Maybe this is why many people have a low opinion of lawyers:-) It is one thing to say your client is not guilty, another to say the law they broke should be thrown out as what they did is a private matter that hurts nobody. Incest, in any context, at any age, like child abuse, is wrong. There are those who would argue that pedophile victims consent as well, ever hear of NAMBLA?

    I would also question that study that claims GSA is present in "half of all reunions". I wonder what questions were asked to come to this conclusion? Attraction, a need to touch and be close, a time of being fascinated with the found person and that relationship, yes, but is that always sexual? Maybe what happens in most reunions should be re-named "genetic attraction" and take the sexual component out of it. People going into reunion should be aware of the overwhelming feelings they might experience, the possible obsession and regression on both sides, but in a normal person which most reunited people are, this can be defused with humor and knowledge and knowing "this too will pass." Anyone who has repeated strong and distinctly sexual feelings about their relative needs professional help to deal with this to assure that this is never acted upon.Anyone who gets these vibes from the other person may be dealing with a predator and should beware. I suspect these people are in a very small minority, not half of all reunions at all. The idea that GSA is so widespread among reunited people who know that they are relatives is more likely to scare people about reunion than to promote it as natural and good.

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    1. Actually, the study concluded just what you said, Maryanne. "Up to half of reunions were accompanied by anything from temporary attraction to obsessive sexual obsession." I agree that taking "sexual" out and renaming it "genetic attraction" would be more accurate.

      I've found that most reunited mothers I've met in support groups talk of obsessive thoughts about their child early in the reunion. These are not sexual. Some of this is, I think, caused by anxiety, the fear that the child will cut off contact. As the parties settle into a more comfortable or at least predictable relationship, the obsession subsides or evaporates.

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  7. I am in contact with many birth mothers and adult children who've experienced GSA. I have interviewed some of them for publication on my blog.. Criminalization of consensual sexual activity between them is damaging. Even if you think they should not be sexual, criminalization makes it more difficult for them to get the assistance they want and brings many other problems. But yes, I know some who are in ongoing, loving relationships that include a sex life together, and I fail to see anything wrong with it. There are a couple of US states that do not criminalize such relationships and there are many countries that don't, and there hasn't been any problems as a result.

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    1. I don't see anyone who is actually arguing for criminalization here. The question as I see it is whether post reunion sexual relationships between closely related (siblings, parents/children) consenting adults who are reunited after significant separation is really incest. Strictly speaking, it is.

      I think the absence of the "Westermarck effect" on siblings, especially those who didn't know they were related when they became sexually involved together, makes them victims. And for those that did know, the fact that they were not raised together is very much a mitigating factor.
      But I don't think the absence of that particular inhibitory mechanism lets reunited birth parents who get sexually involved with their children off the hook - unless of course they too are unaware of the familial relationship before they embark on a sexual one, which doesn't seem to happen too often - at least not to my knowledge. As Maryanne pointed out there is a real power imbalance between children and parents of any sort. In my opinion, the onus is *always* on the parent to be the more responsible one, even in cases where both parties are "consenting adults". For a parent *of any sort* to engage in a sexual relationship with their child creates a huge possibility of harm, psychological and social, for that child. As far as "consenting adults" goes, just because something is legal doesn't mean it's right.

      I too question the 50% have experienced GSA figure. The problem with labels is that they can be self-fulfilling prophesies. Call a complex emotion sexual, and too many sheeples will accept that it is and will consequently experience it as such.

      Also, does the GSA hypothesis apply to people who have been separated by, say, war or illness? Or is it something that's just confined to adoption? Is the explanation behind the separation a factor in this?

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    2. War and illness are completely different--unless a mother loses an infant right after birth due to war (or illness), right when she is being blasted with hormones to keep her baby and love and hold and cuddle it. Then she meets the person 15-20-30 years later.

      Anonymous, please pick a name, use it in the Name/URL selection, or you may not be published.

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    3. Or you could use your real name.

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    4. Mr. Pullman:From the content of your web page, linked from here, it seems you have an agenda, that goes way beyond adoption and incest. I see you also favor polygamy, polyandry, incest within bio families, and something called "polyamory" which I assume means "screwing lots of people at the same time." You do include gay marriage in issues you support, but given the rest of your agenda, I do not think you are doing most gay marriage supporters any favors. In fact your agenda is just what opponents of gay marriage have been hysterical about for years as the "slippery slope" that will ensue if gay marriage becomes legal. I doubt may gay couples would agree with your whole agenda or lifestyle.

      So there are "no problems" with the adoption incest perpetrators you know? Also "no problems" with polygamy? Do you know about the awful history of Mormon offshoot polygamous groups like the one headed by Warren Jeffs? Children indeed are harmed by these practices, even when all the adults are consenting. How about the lost boys who are thrown out on their own at 14 so the old leaders can get all the young girls as wives? How about the underaged girls who "consent" to become plural wives to old men because it is the only life they know?
      How about the rampant and terrible genetic defects in these cults due to generations of inbreeding? I would say these are real problems in the real world, which is not the perfect utopia of free love you imagine.

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    5. @ Lorraine.
      I wrote, "Does the GSA hypothesis apply to people who have been separated by, say, war or illness? Or is it something that's just confined to adoption? Is the explanation behind the separation a factor in this?'

      You responded, "War and illness are completely different--unless a mother loses an infant right after birth due to war (or illness), right when she is being blasted with hormones to keep her baby and love and hold and cuddle it. Then she meets the person 15-20-30 years later."

      There are mothers who lose contact with their infant children due to war, sickness, famine or other tragic circumstances, to meet up with them many years later. But postpartum hormones continue to affect women for six months or more, not just "right after birth" so it's only reasonable to wonder whether the GSA hypothesis applies to mother and baby separations that happen for other reasons.
      What makes postpartum hormones the sole factor, anyway? Clearly it doesn't operate that way for fathers.

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    6. Sara from Ontario: I don't have an answer--and most likely no one does, to your hypothetical. And I can't speak to why fathers and children have an attraction that may become sexual, other than the individual is much like them, just as siblings also have that kind of attraction too.

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  8. Maryanne, the points you have made are excellent and speak to the truth. Incest is incest and dressing it up as something different doesn't alter its core. I suspect GSA exists in a very small percentage of people who are probably having mental health problems in a number of areas.

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  9. Something that I would really like to find are stats on adoptees who were molested/sexually abused in their families because they are not related by blood, or the excuse given. It was the excuse used by my someone in my daughter's adoptive family when he had sex with her. Starting when she was 12.

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    1. This is not limited to adoptive families but also happens in blended families, where a step-parent (usually the step-father) sexually abuses the step-child(ren). When it happens to a child under 18, it's clearly molestation/abuse and just as wrong and illegal as it would be if the parent and child were biologically related.

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  10. Child abuse and incest are equally horrible in adoptive families and biological families. There is no excuse for it in either kind of family, as children are hurt and trust broken. Lo, what happened to your daughter is awful. That person should have been made to pay. Yes, incest occurs in adoptive families as well as biological families, and statistics would be interesting,.But it is wrong no matter what kind of family, and lack of biologcal relatedness does not excuse molesting children. Lock all pedophiles up for good.

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    1. The skunk was the grandmother's live-in mate, after the adoptive grandfather (whom my daughter liked a lot) died. He was never punished; Jane kept it secret for years but when childhood sexual abuse was much in the news, she finally told everyone. Because of her history of lying, unfortunately the adoptive parents did not know whether to believe her, though she showed all the signs of telling the truth in this case. She was told she would never have to see him again, but was coerced into going to her grandmother's funeral--where he was in attendance with other members of his family. She tried to resist going, but the family put a great deal of pressure on her to be there. Afterwards, her amother told her that she believed her about the man, Ed. May he suffer in this lifetime for his deeds, but I think he was never punished and by now he is probably deceased.

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  11. When I gave birth to my daughter, it was overwhelming the level of emotions I had for her. I had never felt such intense love. I couldn't stand being away from her- there was this incredibly intense pull between the two of us. It felt like we were still one person. She didn't want anyone else to hold her, and she wanted to be in my arms constantly. It's described by many as the "fourth trimester." I felt this all over again with my daughter who is adopted, but in a different and unique way. I actually think that giving birth first prepared me because the hormones normally present were not, but I acted with her exactly the same and experienced the same intense attraction between us, but I felt that it had to evolve more on her side that it had with my biological daughter. I was definitely obsessed with my babies, and not just emotionally, but physically- I loved to kiss them, their hands and feet, and snuggle them close. I love breastfeeding and the connection between us. It was incredibly intense, just like falling in love with a romantic partner, but obviously, very different since they were my babies.

    All this to say, when a mother and child are separated, this bonding is interrupted. When they reunite later as adults, I can't help but wonder if those interrupted emotions try to pick up where they were left off. The child, now an adult, feels an overwhelming desire to connect by being held and caressesed and nutured in the way they never got a chance to experience because of separation. The mother feels an intense urge to cradle and kiss and keep her child close to her side, snuggled to her breast. These feelings are critical bonding emotions between mother and newborn child- they are what tie us to one another and ensure the child's ongoing development and protection by cementing the mother's devotion and love. Those feelings are all seeking fulfillment now that these two intimately tied people have reconnected, but they are no longer at age-appropriate stages for these emotions to feel right or comfortable. The intensity of these emotions are very similar to that of romantic attraction, so it could be completely confusing.

    I can see how all this would cause the two adults to end up in a complicated relationship, which is why we should have more support around reunification (or, IMO, legally open adoptions so that there never has to be this emotionally charged reunion later in life). But I do not condone or think it is mentally healthy for reunited parent and child to engage in a romantic relationship. I think the possibility of true attraction between two knowing adult is incredibly rare (and I also think it is not mentally healthy for either party to engage in this because of all the other complications with reunification and unbalanced power relationships between parent and child). But I think this is simply mistaking that original infant-mother bonding for sexual attraction.

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    1. Tiffany, you said it beautifully and I think, correctly. That intense sense of holding and touching is interrupted and when we are reunited, our emotions carry us back to that time, and .... we want to bond, to connect, to restart was was shut down. For the adoptee, this happens in the pre-verbal stage, and is hard to figure out; for us moms it is no less confusing because we didn't realize that the need to touch and be touched back is part of what was so painful

      Thank you again for your insights here.

      if you look at some of the pictures of my daughter and myself, you see we are both leaning in and touching each other.

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  12. Weirdly enough, this just popped up:

    Brazilian woman Adriana is told on Radio Globo’s The Time Is Now program husband is in fact long-lost half-brother

    The radio show didn't plan it, but the daughter met her mother--after searching for her for a long time, and while they were talking on the program, it came out that the mother had also given up a son...who turned out to be the adoptee's husband....they have a daughter....So it will be as long as birth certificates do not tell the full and complete truth as far as it can be known.

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  13. Hi, I am a radio producer based in Johannesburg, South Africa. This Friday, we would like to discuss Genetic Sexual Attraction on the show and I was hoping to get some help from people who have experienced, so that we could have a conversation that is sensitive to the realities of the experience. I would be very grateful if you could direct me to relevant reading material, give me suggestions of possible questions and themes and if anyone is willing, share your experience with us on the radio. Our show endeavors to be a safe space for all participants and we would not allow anyone to face any kind of abuse whilst sharing their story. My personal email address is tusinin@gmail.com and work is nolwazit@702.co.za please get in touch if interested.

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  14. My wife and I are both adopted. She recently entered into reunion with her birth mother. It's going well, but tentative with no actual face to face meeting yet. I've never been interested in reunion myself before, but this has spurred me to research the subject quite a bit over the past few days and I was kind of thinking maybe just for curiosity. I've been reading extensively first hand accounts from every point of view in the triad to discover all the complex issues and feelings each party may have. I've actively sought out blogs and stories from adoptive parents, adoptees, and birthmothers. I'll admit that I understand the birthmother's feelings less than the rest, simply because I've never met that person so I've done a lot more reading on birthmother blogs because I wanted to be as understanding as I could if I should ever meet her some day. My initial quick reaction was to think that a good lot of birthmother stories come across as extremely narcissistic at first and to be turned off from reunion. However, I'm a generally empathetic person and can think about it realistically and see that they have been hurting so long and a lot of stuff was at their emotional expense. I totally understand that when you've been hurting so long with the feeling that nobody cares about your side, venting might inadvertently come across as narcissistic. OK. I get that part and it makes sense, but reading reunion stories written by birthmothers still skeeved me out a little. There nearly all too emotionally intense and I know I would never be able to reciprocate any sort of intense feelings so I wondered on that alone would it even be fair to her to look? I'd just be setting her up for more heartache. Even worse, lot of them come across as girlish crushes and many even liken it to "a new love affair" in those exact words, most especially when the adoptee is male. I'm thinking to myself, "surely this isn't a real thing and I'm misinterpreting" so after a little more Googling on that and I'm now reading all about GSA. Now, you may lambaste me all you like for this, but after hitting this point in my reading I am 100% dead set on not looking and nothing can ever change my mind. The thought that my birthmother would have the slightest possibility of any feelings even remotely sexual for me are a total deal killer. Just the question of "is it incest" is the most absurd thing I've ever heard! I mean, I've read many posts on this blog particularly where everyone is adamant they aren't "birth mothers" or "bio mothers" etc; they're unequivocally mothers. REAL mothers. Point blank, no negotiating that fact. Many even go as far as to say they are the only mothers. Yet, once they have an attraction to their child the lines are suddenly blurred and it's maybe no longer REAL incest?? That IS narcissistic to rationalize that as even slightly OK for a parent to make sexual overtures at their grown child just because it's what one wants. It's also revolting and disgusting. Nope. I'm out. Over and permanently done with ever thinking about reunion. I wish nothing but the best for every other birthmother out their waiting for their child, but this is not for me... Lord have mercy on my soul that I have reached this part of the internet. I feel physically ill.

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    1. Anonymous: Emotions are complicated, not subject to logic and the amount of psychological damage done to both mother and child is enormous. Genetic sexual attraction may emerge, but that doesn't mean anyone will ever act on it.

      And it is also true that you might have feelings about her that emerge as sexual, even without your recognizing it. Everybody tells their own story--adoptee or natural mother--from their own viewpoint. Mothers can't write from their children's point of view; adoptees can't write about mother's point of view. We are all, in our own way, narcissistic about our own lives.

      Deciding not to search merely on the basis of reading one post indicates that you were looking for a good excuse not to. I am being critical, I am just looking at what you say. When I found my daughter in 1981, very few people were saying it was all right to do so; one does what their heart tells them they must.

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  15. COMMENTS CLOSED Please refer to latest blog.

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  16. Genetic sexual attraction makes no sense to me. It makes more sense to be attracted to those in your adoptive family.

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