Last year Penny Lawrence (28) tracked down her long-lost father Garry Ryan (46). Lawrence is now pregnant with his child and claims to be in love with her father.
Garry Ryan was born in Dublin but moved to the US with his family when he was two. Lawrence's mother met him, fell pregnant but Ryan left before the child was born. Her mother returned to Ireland.
When Lawrence was four and living back in Ireland her mother died and her maternal grandparents raised her. They died when she was 18-years-old.
Lawrence then became fixated on finding her only remaining relative, her father. Last year she found him in Houston, Texas.
After several daily phone calls she flew to America to surprise him.
Ryan said that the pair felt an instant physical attraction and they soon began a relationship. Lawrence is now pregnant with his child.
Their situation they say can be accounted for by Genetic Sexual Attraction, a term which has been used since the 1980s to describe feelings of attraction between blood relatives who meet first as adults. There is a theory that humans are attracted to faces similar to their own. Also not meeting until both are adults means that normal sexual taboo between relatives has not had time to develop.
Speaking to the Irish Sun Newspaper Lawrence said "We are not committing incest, but are victims of GSA. We’ve never experienced a father-daughter relationship, so we’re just like any other strangers who meet in adulthood."
Lawrence revealed that her three month scan showed no defects. The couple now plan to proceed with the pregnancy and set up a home together.
They say they do realize that their relationship is illegal and are now afraid that they will be ordered apart by the courts.
He said "It’s no different than if I met Penny in a bar. I’d have fallen for her as I have now. It doesn’t feel like we are doing anything wrong."
Ryan explained his situation when he left Penny’s mother.
He said "I was an 18-year-old kid and when Angela told me she was pregnant I wanted to do the right thing. We decided to get married but Angela’s parents disapproved of the relationship and didn’t want me around."
Lawrence said her therapist had warned her about GSA. She said "I did some research into it. I was stunned that some brothers and sisters, daughters and dads and mothers and sons were actually living happily as man and wife."
However there is a lack of an actual medical and psychological definition and acknowledgement of GSA. As Ryan points out "GSA isn't recognized in court."