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Whoa! This is a 21st Century Relationship Hazard

This is a bad situation of lesbian induced accidental incest. I don't want to go all spoiler warning on you so just check it out from Slate Magazine:

Q. Nasty Surprise: When my wife and I met in college, the attraction was immediate, and we quickly became inseparable. We had a number of things in common, we came from the same large metropolitan area, and we both wanted to return there after school, so everything was very natural between us. We married soon after graduation, moved back closer to our families, and had three children by the time we were 30. We were both born to lesbians, she to a couple, and me to a single woman. She had sought out her biological father as soon as she turned 18, as the sperm bank her parents used allowed contact once the children were 18 if both parties consented. I never was interested in learning about that for myself, but she felt we were cheating our future children by not learning everything we could about my past, too. Well, our anniversary is coming up and I decided to go ahead and, as a present to my wife, see if my biological father was interested in contact as well. He was, and even though our parents had used different sperm banks, it appears so did our father, as he is the same person. On the one hand, I love my wife more than I can say, and logically, done is done, we already have children. I have had a vasectomy, so we won't be having any more, so perhaps there is no harm in continuing as we are. But, I can't help but think "This is my sister" every time I look at her now. I haven't said anything to her yet, and I don't know if I should or not. Where do I go from here? I am tempted to burn everything I got from the sperm bank and just try to forget it all, but I'm not sure if I can. Please help me figure out where to go from here.


A: This is a seminal question about the nature of assisted reproduction. As David Plotz discovered in his book, The Genius Factory, on the alleged sperm bank of Nobel Prize winners, many non-geniuses were moved to spread their seed far and wide. So the question has always hung over this: What if the offspring meet and fall in love? Well, you've met and it's true that if you had researched your origins and disclosed them to each other, you and your wife would now likely be close half-siblings. I understand your desire to burn everything. But if you are now looking at your wife and thinking, "Hey, sis," I don't see how you can keep this information to yourself. She's bound to sense something off in your behavior and you simply can't say, "I'm struggling with father issues." I think you have to sit her down and show you what you've discovered. Then you two should likely seek out a counselor who deals with reproductive technology to help you sort through your emotions. I don't see why your healthy children should ever be informed of this. That Dad didn't want to find out who his sperm donor was is a sufficient answer when they get old enough to ask about this. I think there's way too much emphasis put on DNA. Yes, you two will have had a shock, but when it wears off you will be the same people you were before you found out. Shocking news has the effect of making people feels as if the waves it sends out will always rock them. But I think you two should be able to file away your genetic origins and go on.
This is an excellent reason not to get involved with artificial insemination.

While this might seem like a cautionary tale to many, this will probably be used as a boon for the argument that people should be allowed to marry their siblings. And if you're against it, you're just hateful.

*subhead*Yuck.*subhead*

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20 comments:

magnificatlady said...

What a nightmare!!! I remember before returning to the Church I had a friend who was in the process of donating her eggs. The money was tempting, but I just remember telling her that I thought it strange that if I were to have done it, that some time in the future if someone were to say to me, "I have a friend who looks just like you" it could be my child. Or that I could meet someone and not know if that was my biological child or not. Or if at 18 the child wanted to meet me and I wouldn't be saying I gave you up for adoption because I loved you and wanted a better life for but instead the truth would be, he kid it was the couple of thousand dollars I was paid is how we are related! How sick! Thank God he was reaching me at some level to say No to that!

sparrow said...

ick

Gail Finke said...

" But I think you two should be able to file away your genetic origins and go on." !!!!!!!!! VOMITING NOW

A few years ago I read about a group of sperm-donor kids in the UK -- I can't remember if it was a lobbying group of a support group. Anyway, apparently this is a huge fear among many people who were born from sperm donations, and I suppose living in a small country could make it much worse. Whaddaya know, a fear that no one has had since ancient Rome (what if she's my SISTER???) is alive and well.

elm said...

Perhaps tatoos on the forearm of Daddy's number would be a step foward.

What a wicked web we weave when at first we do deceive.

The damage to the couple would not be apparent, but what about their children's future? How could this not be a double whammy for them with the same grandfather? Wasn't there a reason 1st cousins could not marry?

sparrow said...

The potential for genetic problems is always the basic reason to prevent 1st cousin marriages. We're healthier as hybrids.

sparrow said...

This couple is closer than that though they are 1/2 siblings

archaicsteam said...

The answer says that "Yes, you two will have had a shock, but when it wears off you will be the same people you were before you found out." like that kind of news changes nothing.

Except learning your spouse is also your half-sibling changes everything... I think most people would need some serious therapy after that.

eulogos said...

elm, the citation you intend is, to the best of my memory, "What a tangled web we weave/When first we practice to decieve."

This can happen without assisted reproduction; I once knew a young man raised on the east coast who at college in the southeast met a young woman raised on the west coast and began an intimate relationship with her.

Yes, you know the end of the story. They were half siblings. He was born before his mother married and adopted by a couple who were distantly related to his mother. Then his mother married and had her.

By the time I talked to him they had broken up.

However, I frankly think the couple above, if that is a true story, ought to stay together and raise their children. They aren't psychologically siblings. Any biological harm has already been done. The taboo is either for psychological or biological reasons, but neither are really in play here. Their children need both parents.

Just my opinion.
Susan Peterson

Paul said...

"This is a seminal question...."

Interesting choice of adjectives! :-)

Sophia's Favorite said...

Harbingers of the Ragnarök, you know, siblings lying with siblings. Like in the Völsungasaga.

Robert said...

"While this might seem like a cautionary tale to many, this will probably be used as a boon for the argument that people should be allowed to marry their siblings. And if you're against it, you're just hateful."

I see that one day the argument will be made that if same sex marriage is OK then why shouldn't two gay brothers or two lesbian sisters be able to marry.....or gay uncle with gay nephew etc. Once that is excepted then why not straight brother & sister? If same sex marriage is allowed, is anything off the table?

elm said...

I really do love my mother,

Oedipus

Mike said...

You should watch "Anonymous Father's Day" (http://www.anonymousfathersday.com/)

Sophia's Favorite said...

The only culture I can think of that would be okay with this would be the Hawaiians and the Classic Maya; the Hawaiians married both siblings and half-siblings, while the Classic Maya married their aunts or uncles (who are genetically half-siblings).

waywardson said...

The only think worse than unknowingly having sex with your sister is finding out your father is a mass murderer/Dark Jedi.

Oh, wait...

Sophia's Favorite said...

You think Luke and Leia had sex? Which version were you watching?

Unknown said...

The more I see of the modern state of affairs, the better the traditional way of life looks.

The sexual revolution. artificial contraception, and Roe v Wade ushered in this era of artificial reproductive technology and its consequences.

Unknown said...

The more I see of the modern state of affairs, the better the traditional way of life looks.

The sexual revolution. artificial contraception, and Roe v Wade ushered in this era of artificial reproductive technology and its consequences.

Carolyn said...

If I may play devil's advocate, because this situation vaguely reminds me of a boyfriend I had years ago.

He was adopted, and on our first date he told me all about his birth information that he knew (birth name, etc, he didn't know who his birth parents are). "Just in case," he said, "we turn out to be siblings or something". I thought he was joking, but he was actually quite serious and it was something he worried about.

I'm not sure how this is much different than if either was adopted as a child and didn't know their birth father until later.

Just putting that out there.

yankeefrost said...

Did Slate and that writer just enter into a criminal conspiracy to assist that couple to commit incest?

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