I absolutely LOVE this site. Thank you Lifescript for leading me to even more material to write about. I simply could not pass this one up.
So, to give a rundown of the advice columnist article, this is about woman who has fallen in love with her cousin (as if you couldn’t tell by the article name). The first time was 20 years prior to the writing of the request for advice, when they were kids, and the second I am assuming had happened somewhere near March of last year when this was published. The earlier encounter went friendship, relationship, sex, and love. Then, over the writer’s father’s funeral, they realized they still had the same feelings and are lost as what to do as the family would be devastated and would have zero understanding. Umm…duh!
Okay, so these are first cousins. Even if you can give way to young, dumb, and stupid for the first fiasco; even later in life when they should have a grasp on the complete wrongness of this situation, they are still looking to make a go of it. I am all for you can’t help who your heart chooses, but at some point, when it comes to bearing children with higher possibilities of birth defect and possible legal issues depending on what state they live in, the head should probably take over. Thankfully, the expert who responded to the letter gave very sound advice and said stop this before it goes any further.
To be a responsible blogger, I decided to research this topic a bit further and came across a website, Cousin Couples, an obviously pro cousin couple site. There are 26 states in the U.S. that will allow first cousin marriages. All European countries, Canada, and Mexico will allow first cousin marriages. Non-related couples have a 2-3% chance of bearing a child with a birth defect, while first cousin couples are at a 4-6% chance risk. The estimation is at 20% worldwide of first cousin marriages and 80% historically. Both Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin married first cousins. Franklin Roosevelt was married to a cousin, however she was not a first cousin.
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), has a list of states allowing, not allowing, and allowing under special circumstances. The list is as follows:
Cousin marriage legal
First cousin marriage prohibited
Allowed under certain circumstances
First cousin marriage is allowed in these states under the following circumstances:
Arizona- if both are 65 or older, or one is unable to reproduce.
Illinois- if both are 50 or older, or one is unable to reproduce.
Indiana- if both are at least 65.
Maine- if couple obtains a physician’s certificate of genetic counseling.
Utah- if both are 65 or older, or if both are 55 or older and one is unable to reproduce.
Wisconsin- if the woman is 55 or older, or one is unable to reproduce.
North Carolina- First cousin marriage is legal. Double cousin marriage is prohibited
I looked up double cousin marriage also, because I was unsure what that meant, and basically found it was something like this:
Two sisters marry brothers, one couple gives birth to a boy and the other to a girl. The offspring cannot grow up and get married as they are double cousins.