This leaflet has been written from our experience and expertise. In this leaflet we discuss genetic sexual attraction.
If you have difficulties with language or reading, please let us know and we will read this information over the phone or to someone who can support you. Should you need any further information or support about this matter you can phone or email us via the details on our website.
This is not a subject that would get raised in polite society and it may be hard to talk about or even to think about. But it is an issue that needs to be raised and we do need to help you be aware of this phenomenon that can arise when you meet your birth relatives for the first time.
Sometimes adult relatives can find themselves sexually attracted to their new birth relative. It is as if the normal barrier that exists between a parent and adult child are taken away just because they have not had the years to develop. This can also happen with sibling and half siblings and other relatives including cousins. The experience can be quite shocking for people and they can be overwhelmed and confused when they suddenly find themselves thrown into a turmoil of feelings including the sense that you are falling passionately in love and drawn to someone so strongly that it is as if there is a magnet pulling you together.
This does not happen for everyone, and we don’t need to sensationalise the point, but we just must warn you. There is not a lot of research on the matter and so we can’t explain exactly why this occurs, but there may be different factors, such as the lack of shared family experience with the usual boundaries and taboos being built over the years. The attraction could be fuelled by the deep love you suddenly feel towards a new person who is so like you. You may mistake this love for passion and sexuality and some impulse in you is desperate to make up for lost time. The best way to describe this is like being a teenager in love all over again. This may represent itself in a physical way. But don’t panic. This does not necessarily happen a lot. It is more likely that you might just feel confused about deep feelings for a stranger. Sometimes a full sexual relationship may develop, and this of course would be a mistake to pursue with any birth relative and would have very complex consequences, including breaking the law but also socially and emotionally within your family group. If you find you are confused about your feelings, then please talk it over in confidence with our counsellors. We will understand and we won’t judge you for this, but we will help you make sense of your feelings so that you remain calm and in control and put this experience in its place. If it does arise it will soon fall away once you can make sense of the emotions. We do have the experience and understanding to help you with this.