Woman Speaks Out On Discovering Her Parents Are Brother And Sister

A British woman has recalled the horrifying moment she discovered that her biological parents were brother and sister. Teresa Weiler, 64, opened up about the experience on BBC Radio 4’s Life Changing program, and listeners couldn’t believe what she went through.

  1. Teresa Weiler was adopted as a toddler. Her adoptive parents, a civil servant and his wife, from Middlesex, provided her with a very happy upbringing. She wanted for nothing as a child and never felt unloved or lacking in any way.
  2. When she turned 18, her adoptive father gave Weiler her birth certificate. On the document, the woman noticed that only her biological mother’s name appeared. The section for the father was mysteriously blank. Weiler’s mother was named as Teresa Maureen O’Reilly.
  3. Weiler didn’t look into it further until her mid-20s. That’s when she got in touch with social services to ask for files relating to her adoption. Once she had the documents, she learned that her mother had her when she was only 16. More shocking, however, was the fact that Teresa Weiler’s father was her mother’s 15-year-old brother, Sean.

What she learned changed everything

  1. The emotions Weiler experienced were intense. In an interview with Dr. Sian Williams, she admitted she struggled to cope with the truth. “The first thing that happens is the shock and the revulsion and the shame. Because I’d grown up in a strict Catholic family where sex before marriage was even a no-no,” she said. “So, for me, this was off the scale.” She added that she felt an extra level of shame in revealing what she’d learned to her adoptive family, saying: “I didn’t think my family would still want me, I thought they would turn their back on me if they knew the truth, and I couldn’t face the shame of telling friends or other people the truth.”
  2. Teresa Weiler wondered if her background could explain her health issues. Because incest can lead to health problems in offspring, Weiler was scared. She already had early-onset arthritis, among other conditions. This led her to make a very serious decision. “I made a very important decision … If I had come from that background, and with all the physical and mental challenges that might make for vulnerability of children of my own … I decided I would never have children,” she revealed. “That was huge, because I dearly, dearly wanted children, that was one of my greatest wishes. But I simply didn’t feel that I could bring a child into the world knowing that just one generation previously, that had been the history.”
Jennifer has been the managing editor of Bolde since its launch in 2014. Before that, she was the founding editor of HelloGiggles and also worked as an entertainment writer for Bustle and Digital Spy. Her work has been published in Bon Appetit, Decider, Vanity Fair, The New York TImes, and many more.
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