When 39-year-old Adriana, a Brazilian, searched for her mother who abandoned her as a baby, she came upon a shocking truth about her family - that the man she married, Leandro, 37, is her biological half-brother.
The couple were aware that they were both searching for their respective mums both named Maria - a very common name in South American nations - unaware that she is one and the same person.
Adriana was one when she was taken under the care of her maternal grandfather, while Leandro discovered when he was eight that his real mum abandoned him and he was raised by his stepmother. He lived in Sao Paulo, while Adriana worked as a housemaid, married for 15 years and had three children.
After her marriage ended, she returned to Sau Paolo and met Leandro, a truck driver. She was a cosmetic saleswoman. They fell in love and lived-in and continued their search for their mums.
Adriana called a local radio station, Globo, for help which helped her reconnect with her mum, via its programme The Time Is Now, which specialises in connecting lost relatives. After the mother and daughter were connected through an on-air phone call, she admitted to Adriana that she has a son, which led to the discovery that Leandro, with whom she has a 6-year-old daughter, is her younger biological half-brother.
However, despite the discovery, the couple said they will remain as de-facto husband and wife, and announced their decision to their relatives.
Their story, which came out in Brit paper Daily Mail, elicited various reactions, ranging from pity to suggestions that they undergo DNA tests to check if they are indeed related by blood.
In February 2013, a similar case happened in the U.S. when two half-siblings discovered they are brothers and sisters during their wedding anniversary.
The Stir quoted a Dear Prudence advice column in response to a letter from Jack, a man who turned out to be the son of a lesbian who became pregnant using a sperm donation from the sperm bank. It was a similar situation for his wife Jill, who was aware who her real father is when she sought more information about him from the sperm bank when Jill turned 18.
When the couple, who married in college and had 3 kids by the time they were 30, celebrated their wedding anniversary in 2013, Jack decided to trace his biological father and that was when he found out his dad was the same sperm donor of Jill's mother.
Emily Yoffe, the advice columnist behind Dear Prudence, suggested that they seek a counselor but cautioned them from telling their kids the truth.