LONDON — A brother and sister who were parted at birth and adopted by different families married without knowing of their biological relationship, and then won an annulment, a leading anti-abortion campaigner, David Alton, said in the House of Lords on Friday. Lord Alton, a peer who is also one of Britain's leading advocates for children's rights, cited the case in a debate over new legislation on human fertilization and embryology, which opponents say will weaken the ability of children to identify their biological parents. Lord Alton, who said he had been told of the case by the high court judge who granted the annulment, did not name the judge or the couple or offer any other details, beyond saying the case was recent.
Incredibly, the story made the BBC, USA Today, the New York Times, and countless other estimable news organs without anyone subjecting it to the most cursory smell-test, even though Lord Alton is clearly a fount of uncontrolled pro-life sentiment who is not above improvising stories to make a point. It is not in fact such a terrible point to make, since the standing policy in most Western countries rests upon the absurd idea that custodial parents have the right to the cooperation of the law in deliberately obfuscating their children's biological heritage. But such a worthy cause does not require support by means of cultivated urban legendry. I assume that someone in the UK media is already taking the steps that will lead to Alton's ultimate apology and/or climbdown.