I'm a woman living in the UK. I was fostered from a very young age - not sure of the reasons behind this, but I know my mother couldn't cope and Social Services became involved fairly early on. I was shipped around with my older sister for a few years until we were eventually officially fostered together with permanent foster parents (I was 6 and she was 9). My sister was raised for a short period of time with our older sister, but I never was. We were aware, however, of the existence of both our older sister and our brother, who was a year older than me. Throughout the period we were fostered, there was infrequent contact with our birth mother, though none with our father. Our brother had been allowed to go and live with our birth mother, but was very rarely present during our visits. I did not have a sibling relationship with him at any point.
I eventually married and had three children, but the marriage was not a particularly happy one. We stayed together mainly for financial reasons.
[...] I tried to maintain contact with my sister, but there was no contact with either my older sister or brother throughout any of my teenage years or adult life. I eventually made contact with my sister (the one I was raised with) when my daughter was around 4 months old and we decided to maintain contact. It was during one of these visits that I met my brother, who she had been in touch with (without telling me).
[...] There was an immediate spark, which utterly confused me. Upon meeting him for the first time, I felt like I was meeting a boyfriend, which disconcerted me somewhat but did not feel wrong. We quickly found that we had similar interests and became very close very quickly. I maintained contact with him once I went home by phone and msn, but we still did not feel like siblings. I felt like I was in the throes of a new relationship. We communicated every day for a few months, meeting up in person whenever we could (he lived several hundred miles away). At one of these visits, we consummated our relationship. We had talked about this very vaguely before this, but it took us both by surprise when it happened. Even so, it was something we both wanted and did not feel wrong at all - in fact, it felt like it was meant to be.
[...] We are in an exclusive relationship. I have no sibling feelings towards him whatsoever and we are currently living together as a couple. The only people who know the truth about us are our sister, birth mother, my foster mother and a couple of close friends. We would never feel in a position to share this information with others, given the legal situation. They were naturally shocked at first but have come to accept us for who we are.
My brother and I now have two children together, both of whom are healthy. [...] We were a little concerned when I fell pregnant with our first child, as we had heard all the rumours about genetic conditions etc, but these fears proved to be unfounded. We had all the checks done that we could during the pregnancy and everything came back normal. We were immensely relieved to find that both children were born normal.
[...] It can be difficult sometimes, as we have had to lie about how we met, etc. to people around us, as we could not afford for the truth to come out. We also had a lot of issues with my ex-husband, who would make life impossible for us if he found out and would ensure that my children were taken away from me. Without going into detail, he almost found out about us and it caused huge problems and almost ended our relationship for safety reasons. We could not afford for the UK authorities to get wind of our relationship, hence the secrecy.
[...] It does annoy me when I read comments from people who have no idea what they're talking about, i.e. your child will definitely be born with problems etc.
It also annoys me when I read comments from others in the GSA community who say you cannot have a successful relationship. I think we are living proof that this is untrue. We have been together now for 7 years and are still going strong.
[...] If we were able to get married, we would do so in a heartbeat. We are both disappointed that this will never be a reality and are saddened by the fact that our relationship would never be accepted by society. We would be considered deviants, when in fact we have done nothing wrong. Social Services in this country would consider us a danger to our own children, which seems utterly bizarre. Just because we fell in love does not make us paedophiles or sexual deviants.
We feel it is unfair that same-sex couples are now being actively encouraged to adopt etc., when we are not even allowed to simply be together, are considered sexual deviants and could, in theory, have our children removed from us and given to a same-sex couple. Don't get me wrong, we have no issues with same-sex couples or gays and lesbians at all, but we do have an issue when we hear bigoted remarks not only from the same people who attack gays and lesbians, but from some gays and lesbians as well when it comes to people in our situation. You would think that given that they were persecuted too at one point, they would have more of an understanding.