Accidental incest

Accidental incest is incest that is committed by two partners who do not know they are biologically related. It can occur when two people who are unaware of their biological relationship become sexually intimate. When two related people meet as adults, and become sexually attracted, it is known as genetic sexual attraction. When a biological relationship is suspected, DNA testing may be used.


Artificial insemination with donated sperm may result in accidental incest. Because sperm donation is often anonymous, many people conceived in this manner are usually unaware of any biological half siblings they have.[1] The likelihood of accidental incest is kept low with doctors limiting the number of times that each donor's sperm can be used.[2] Some countries have laws limiting the number of children a donor can father in order to reduce the likelihood.[3] Taiwan allows those conceived by artificial means to receive testing to determine if they are related to a person they are considering marrying.[4]

Other causes may include:

Notable cases

See also


  1. "Accidental Incest Risk Increases". Edmonton Journal. Boston. Associated Press. 15 Mar 1979. p. 61. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  2. Atallah, Lillian (19 Apr 1976). "Report From A Test Tube Baby". Ocala Star-Banner. p. 35. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  3. Alvarez, Lizette (30 September 2004). "Spreading Scandinavian Genes, Without Viking Boats". The New York Times. Arhus, Denmark: Arhus Journal. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  4. Oung, Angelica (11 May 2007). "DOH working on provision to stop accidental incest". The Taipei Times. Taiwan. p. 2. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  5. Angelica, Jade Christine. A Moral Emergency: Breaking the Cycle of Child Sexual Abuse. p. 59.
  6. "Unknowing twins married, lawmaker says". London: CNN. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  7. Sabater, Liza. "Accidental Incest: Twins Separated at Birth Marry". Culture Kitchen. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  8. Jon Henley (15 January 2008). "Did a pair of twins really get married by mistake?". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  9. STEWART MACLEAN, "Engaged couple discover they are brother and sister when their parents meet just before wedding", Daily Mail, 3rd November 2011. Accessed 9th November 2011.
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