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A Manchester man has confessed to “developing romantic feelings” for his long-lost birth mother after tracking her down on social media.
Shane Burke, 19, believes he had the psychological condition genetic sexual attraction (GSA), where sexual attraction arises between relatives after they meet as adults.
Rose Bestall was 15 years old when she gave birth to Burke, but social services deemed her too young to look after him.
He was taken into care and she was allowed supervised visits until he was adopted at age five.
But years after losing touch, Burke tracked her down via Facebook. After an emotional reunion, he says he began to develop romantic feelings for his mother.
He told the Mirror: “I’d have a few drinks and something strange came over me. I’d never thought of Rose in a romantic way but suddenly I’d started to have strange feelings for her.
“We’d been spending so much time together it was like we were boyfriend and girlfriend and going on dates.
“We went back to Rose’s and we were having a cigarette in the garden when I just blurted it out.”
Bestall, 35, says the confession left her with a “massive dilemma.”
“I knew Shane’s feelings were completely inappropriate but I had searched for him for so long and I didn’t want to push him away again.
“I told him I loved him unconditionally as his mum but our relationship could never be anything else.
“Thankfully he understood and we’re working on a normal relationship,” she told the Mirror.
GSA can happen to parents and children, siblings and half siblings, usually when one has been abandoned, adopted or raised apart due to divorce or separation.
In the UK, sex with a relative is defined as incest and is illegal under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. People who commit such crimes can face a maximum of two years in prison.