Fact Check: Germany Did NOT Legalize Incest

Fact Check

  • by: Rebaz Majeed
Fact Check: Germany Did NOT Legalize Incest Incest Illegal

Did Germany legalize incest? No, that's not true. Germany has not legalized incest. According to section 173 of the German Criminal Code, sexual relation between siblings and between parents and their children is forbidden.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) published on TikTok by @maysaranews on August 22, 2023, under the title "Germany just passed the law." The text on the video read:

[...] Germany allows marriage between siblings, between son and mother and marriage with animals.

(Translated from Arabic by Lead Stories staff).

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-08-23 at 12.52.21.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Wed Aug 23 10:31:47 2023 UTC)

The claim went viral on TikTok and it was published by numerous other accounts, such as here, here and here.

According to Cornell Law School

Incest is marriage or sexual intercourse with a relative within the prohibited degree of consanguinity. In other words, incest is sexual contact between close blood relatives, including brothers and sisters, parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, or aunts and uncles with nephews or nieces.

While the videos published on TikTok claim that Germany has legalized marriage between siblings and between mother and son, section 173 of German Criminal Code forbids incest:

Section 173 (Incest)

(1) Whosoever performs an act of sexual intercourse with a consanguine descendant shall be liable to imprisonment not exceeding three years or a fine. (2) Whosoever performs an act of sexual intercourse with a consanguine relative in an ascending line shall be liable to imprisonment not exceeding two years or a fine; this shall also apply if the relationship as a relative has ceased to exist. Consanguine siblings who perform an act of sexual intercourse with each other shall incur the same penalty. (3) Descendants and siblings shall not be liable pursuant to this provision if they were not yet eighteen years of age at the time of the act.

DW and other media reported that in 2014 the German Ethics Council called for the repeal of the prohibition of incest between siblings, after examining a controversial case in Germany, where a brother and a sister had four children together. In 2022, according to the Daily Mail, the man continued to call for an end to laws banning incest.

A search of Google News index' of thousands of credible news sites performed by Lead Stories on August 24, 2023, for the past 12 months, with the following keywords: "Germany legalize incest," did not show any reference to a law being passed recently in Germany to allegedly make incest legal. As of now, incest is still illegal in Germany according to the German Criminal Code.

  Rebaz Majeed

Rebaz Majeed is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. He is a multilingual freelance journalist and researcher. He worked for five years as a reporter for Voice of America (VOANews) in Iraq. Currently, he is pursuing his MA in Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East at Free Berlin University. Rebaz brings extensive knowledge and expertise to his role at LeadStories.

Read more about or contact Rebaz Majeed

About us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a U.S. based fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:

Follow us on social media

Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion