German man who had four children with his sister loses European Court fight claiming incest conviction breached his human rights A German man who fathered four children with his sister - and then claimed an incest conviction breached his human rights - has lost his European court case.
Stuebing, from Leipzig, was adopted as a child and did not meet his sister until he tracked down his natural family in his 20s. Born in 1976, he was placed in a children's home aged three and went to live with a foster family in Potsdam, near Berlin, four years later. It was not until his biological mother died in 2000 that he made contact with his blood relatives and developed an 'intensified' relationship with his sister in December that year.
Stuebing and Karolewski, who claim their love is not abnormal, started having sex a month later and lived together for several years. The couple went on to have four children between 2001 and 2005 - three of them now live in care and two are disabled. The main basis for Stuebing's conviction, the ECHR said, was 'the protection of marriage and the family' because the couple's behaviour blurred family roles.
It also noted 'the risk of significant damage' to children born of incest, which is banned partly because of the higher likelihood of disability.