A mother and son who pleaded guilty to incest have vowed nothing will stop them being together despite a court order ruling they must stay apart.
Monica Mares, 37, and Caleb Peterson, 20, were ordered to stay apart for 18 months as part of their three-year probation deal after a neighbour reported them to the police for their relationship.
But the couple said they are madly in love with each other and have decided to speak out about their ordeal to raise awareness for Genetic Sexual Attraction (GSA).
Ms Mares, from New Mexico, gave her son up for adoption after giving birth to him when she was just 16-years-old.
They were reunited when Mr Peterson was 18 - after getting in touch on Facebook - and moved in together.
“The first time I met my son in person I was so happy and excited I gave him a big hug," Ms Mares told the Mail Online.
She said she had “butterflies” when she went to pick her son up from his adopted father’s house in Texas last Christmas. He moved into her home and shortly after Ms Mares said her “mother love” transformed into “crazy” feelings.
"It felt like I met somebody new in my life and I fell in love with him,” she explained.
Mr Peterson said he first developed feelings for his mum after he moved in with her and she began looking after him.
“I never got anything my entire life and she went out of her way to make me happy and after about a week or so I started having feelings for her and I guess I fell in love,” he said.
“I never thought I was crazy for having these feelings because I didn't see her as my mom, it was more like going to a club and meeting a random person. It didn't feel wrong, it felt normal.
“She's adult I'm adult I can make my own decisions. I never thought it would blow up into something like this.”
After the couple went public with their relationship, they were attacked and insulted by neighbours and Mr Peterson’s adopted father walked away from him.
Ms Mares has also been banned from spending time with her eight other children but said she is willing to sacrifice her relationship with her other children if it means she can be with her older son.
“It is every bit worth it," she said. “If they lock me up for love then they lock me up. There is no way anybody could pull us apart, and I really do love him.
“He is the love of my life and I don't want to lose him. My kids love him, my whole family does. Nothing can come between us not courts, or jail, nothing. I have to be with him.”
Genetic Sexual Attraction is defined as a physical attraction between close relatives – siblings, parents and children or cousins – who have first met as adults.