Patrick Stuebing and Susan Karolewski are siblings who have been taken apart when they were little and reunited many years later. Patrick was adopted by a foster family but decided to find his real family when he turned 23.

After their mother died, Patrick and Susan fell in love and started a family. Today, they live in a small flat in Germany with their youngest daughter Sofia but their other three children have been taken away from them by the authorities and by the courts.

Incest is a criminal offence in Germany. Patrick Stuebing has already served a two-year sentence for committing incest and there is another jail term waiting if paragraph 173 of the legal code is not overturned.

The couple says they feel no guilt and that they just wished they would be left alone to live their lives and raise their family. They are hoping for the law to be overturned.

The couple's lawyer, Endrik Wilhelm, says that Germany's criminal code is out of date. It dates back to 1871 and it is a crime for close relatives to have sex and it's punishable by up to three years in prison. He has lodged an appeal with Germany's highest judicial body to overturn the country's ban on incest. The law against incest is based on very old moral principles and has already been abolished in France.

The case has prompted a heated debate in the media. A geneticist at Berlin's Charite Hospital, Professor Juergen Kunze, says that the law is needed against incest in Germany and in the whole of Europe. He believes it exists for a good reason.

Medical research has shown that there is a higher risk of genetic abnormalities when close relatives have a child together. When siblings have children, there is a 50% chance that the child will be disabled.
The couple’s oldest son has epilepsy and daughter Sarah also has special needs but the parents don’t think they are disabled.

Patrick and Susan say that they are receiving support from family and friends in their fight against the law.