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Is a relationship with a third cousin incestuous?

Tagged as: Family, Pregnancy<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (29 June 2007) 30 Answers - (Newest, 3 November 2010)
A female United States age 26-29, anonymous writes:

i am in a relationship with my 3rd cousin, am i incest? if i had a kid would it have a birth defect? also if im pregnant how should i tell our family?

View related questions: cousin, incest

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (3 November 2010):

Women over 30 have increased chance of birth defects does that mean that it should be illegal for them to reproduce to?.... Just because one persons kids turned out messed up dont mean they all will(not to mention that one poster sounded like a troll..

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A female reader, BBrook United States +, writes (3 November 2010):

Please don't do it. I asked doctors and clerymen 35 years ago and was told "no problem" to marry my 3rd cousin who I had recently met.

I now have children and grandchildren who are paying for it.

Apparently my father's side of the family had mental problems I was unaware of at the time and the kids got a double whammy.

I know everyone will tell you "no problem " like they did me but if I can prevent jut one person from making my mistake...my effort is worth it.

PLEASE DON"T DO IT

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (31 October 2010):

I would like to start off by saying I am not married to my third cousin. I am from america and my wife is from australia is so there's no way that we're related lol. Though I feel it's weird to marry cousins, I am very analytical and do my research. I would suggest everyone else to the same. Siblings share a 50 percent genetic relationship with one another. Third cousin share a 0.78 genetic relationship with one another. Third cousin marriages are legal and only run the same risk for birth defects as regular marriages. I even researched the bible and it is also legal according to biblical law.

So after actually taking the time to look into it I have found that people including me, just simply need to stop being ignorant.

P.S. Never marry first cousins lol.

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A female reader, Aly28 United States +, writes (23 October 2010):

i am 19 years old and my boyfriend is 27,and we are third cousins.we just met about a year ago.we tried keeping it a secret,but our family wasnt stupid,they knew something was going on.One day we told them and they were suprisingly excepting towards the fact that we loved eachother and wanted to be together.we do have the same last name so its hard for most people to accept that were together they dont understand but ive never been more in love in my life,we have been together for over a year now and want to have children. im just scared that something might go wrong considering were related. regradless of this were still trying.i love my boyfriend very much and he loves me too,it shouldnt matter who you fall in love with,as long as your happy related or not

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (16 October 2010):

I am involved with my 3rd cousin for quite some time. I've never been treated so well by a more caring individual. The love between us is unexplainable. I was married to my first husband for 24 years and divorced. My grown son is completely against this union. That is my only obstacle. I don't want to have to choose as my son is insisting. I truly would wish the happiness given to me from this man, to be felt by every human being. We plan to marry next year and I truly feel he was customed made, so as we all know, everyone has an opinion about every subject and I just need to go with what my heart tells me. By the way, I'm 50 years old and have seen plenty of relationships in my time. Always, look at the individuals heart and that is where you make your decision.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 October 2010):

if you are having a relationship with anyone and you have to question it, its probably wrong. If you are already pregnant, why ask now? You have to tell your family! This means that each of you have a grandparent that are siblings. To me that is just NASTY! there is a world full of people why would you want to be sexually involved with your own family? You have alot of the same genetic makeup which means an increased risk that your child will have some sort of deformation or disease! as far as the Bible goes, if you cant marry a step parent or in law then why would you be allowed to marry a family member. These are questions you should have asked before having sex with your cousin. and if you want to know what the Word of God says, you arent suppose to have sex with ANYONE that is not your spouse! So you're double wrong!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 October 2010):

I hope not because of all the guys I've ever met, my 3rd cousin takes the cake. I feel that he is perfect. But I don't know what my parents would think. My grandmother would NOT approve. He's only a year older than me. I'm 16.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 October 2010):

I say, go for it! I am madly and passionately in love with my first cousin. Because of the way we were raised, we no longer have contact with each other. The bond that we have together is so strong, until we both can tell the way the other feels.I have never loved any man soooo much. I can tell that he loves me the same way. It breaks my heart that we can be together. People wouldn't understand. U can't help who you love! HEARTBROKEN

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A male reader, snu India +, writes (10 October 2010):

Not even marrying to your first cousin is an ancest, but it's only because of the western researches about abnormal infants, that such relations are now not encouraged.

Only that is the reason, else even the relation between two people belonging to same sex is now given an ok, even in india,coz there is zero probability of any such abnormal infants in the case. So dont wory , just consider the family consequencies. And also life of your partner afterwards.

I dont understand the laws ugainst the relationship . if two want to live together , they will in any case . and if they dont want to , than nobody can ever force them, why such a law.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (10 August 2010):

A brother/sister shar 1/2 the genes

1st cousins share 1/8 the genes

2nd cousins share 1/32 the genes

3rd cousins share 1/128 the genes

We ONLY have 46 chromosomes. In other words, most 3rd cousins, as long as there was no previous incest, share NO chromosomes and are not really related in any significant manner. The fools that think that 3rd cousins marrying is disgusting are completely ignorant. 3rd cousins from small counties in the USA marry ALL the time - usually not knowing that they are related until much later in the relatinship. In an America where people are more estranged than ever from relatives, how would the average person even know all their 3rd cousins. I have 35 1st cousins alone. I probably have 10 thousand 3rd cousins.

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A male reader, Nor3d3mption United States +, writes (10 August 2010):

Hi, I am currently in a relationship with my 3rd cousin! now, both of our parents do not agree and they both are saying the same things.. "Think of the family, you guys can't have kids, it's just not right".. but honestly, i feel a deep connection to her. one that i havent gotten with any other women. Yeah, you can go ahead and say, "well, duh its cause your related" but if that's what it takes for me to be insanely happy.. then so be it.

One thing that really makes me unhappy though is that when my parents say its not right.. or we expect you to do the right thing.. Well who's to say what's right. I know exactly what THEY want me to do and that's the "safe" thing to do, not right. The "right" thing to do is to follow your heart. If you love that person, go for it! Trust me, its made me a happier man in just a month of dating. :)

GOOD LUCK and GOD BLESS 3

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A female reader, shorty9666 United States +, writes (28 July 2010):

Just wanted to let you know that my mother and father were third cousins. Family had spred out so far that they didn't know till some ancestry research had been done. They had three children and nothing was wrong with them. All three were very bright. I am now in a relationship with my third cousin. We didn't know that we were third cousins until we got to asking other relatives. If we didn't have the same last name and from a small town we wouldn't have even asked about relationships. How is anybody going to know who begat what 100 years ago? (which is my case0

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A reader, anonymous, writes (10 June 2010):

I wanted to add to my last answer to this question: I would also not do this because there are billions of other people out there.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (10 June 2010):

I am not here to judge. I will just give you my opinions and any facts will be based on my own research. I personally could not date any close cousin. I use the term "close" to mean genetically detectable in a DNA test. Sex with a third cousin is not incest, but is a form of inbreeding. I have spoken with geneticists from Stanford and a company called 23andMe. I was told that third cousins are genetically close enough to easily be detected. In fact, third cousins can easily share more DNA than a second cousin. Third cousins are NOT genetically the same as a stranger. Half-fourth cousins sometimes share no more DNA than 2 individuals taken at random. Relationships beyond that are so close to 0% that it is difficult to detect any shared DNA. Here is an article that is answer to one of my genetics questions:

http://www.thetech.org/genetics/ask.php?id=284

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A reader, anonymous, writes (12 November 2009):

Just started a relationship with my 3rd cousin. It took us 30 years to discover we have the same feeling for each other... well we knew we just never said anything. We both have children and have been married to other people. Strangely enough our attraction never went away and through our friendship we discovered our attraction while talking to each other. we are both single again so there was nothing stopping us.

incest is a difficult question? I have done some research and the world seams to be surrounded by immediate family. Parents and siblings and extended to 1st cousins in some parts of the world. Other parts of the world actually promote 1st cousins to marry. What matters is the people that you will need to deal with. This word seems to be manufactured in law because in the past governments wanted to control inappropriate behavior. The behavior that was being questioned seems to be that of non-consenting sexual behavior. More commonly known as rape. In the past males could not be charged for crimes against women in their families so social taboos were introduced. If you are in a consenting relationship then you will need to decide for yourself what is incest.

If you are already pregnant then you should be checking with your Doctor and doing what any other pregnant lady would do. If you have not told your parents that you are pregnant then you will have the same fears that any person would have about telling your parents that you are having an unplanned pregnancy.

My advice is to talk to your cousin and find out if you both feel the same way about each other. Make a plan to tell everyone that needs to know and enjoy being with someone that loves and respects you.

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A female reader, Jenny71689 United States +, writes (11 September 2009):

I am currently in a relationship with my third cousin and everybody who says its wrong and sinful and sin are just plan ignorant. I have talked to pastors about it and many other people it is not a sin it is not incest. Everybody wants to talk about birth defects and stuff when it is a fact ANYBODY can have a child with birth defects regardless of if they are second and so on cousins. Yes there are a lot of people in the world but it you love a certain person thats all you want and not somebody else.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (31 August 2009):

Marrying your cousin is not sinful at all, be it first, second, or third. Ignorance is bliss. When people do not not agree with a situation they automatically call it a sin which is ignorant. Judging is a sin. Incest is a sexual relationship between immediate family members..ie: mother & son, father & daughter, brother & sister, so forth and so on. Go to your bible if you want facts. Do not go to people with only opinions. When someone tells you that dating your cousin is sinful, ask them to show you proof. Sex before marriage is a sin, no one has a problem with that though. Read Leviticus 18:6-18 in your Holy Bible. The Bible is the final authority on right and wrong.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 August 2009):

The only intelligent response on here is from the female reader on July 18th. It is totally sinful and disgusting to hook up with family. There are too many people out here to hook up with family. Plus you have to think about the kids, its not fair to them. I totally disagree with what most of everyone is saying on here. Its common sense, your children will be your cousins and your children, and vice versa for them. Obviously thats not normal because you'll be related twice. The devil is very busy nowadays and based on most people's opinions that is obviously true. Its like saying its normal for people of the same sex to get married!

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A female reader, Veronica1210 United States +, writes (5 August 2009):

It really doesn't matter we are all related, if you check the web sites even our President Franklin Roosevelt married his cousin, so did Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin which were 1st cousins and had exceptional children non-related people have a 2-3 percent chance of birth defects and related people have 4-6 percent chance of birth defects We are all cousins no two people are more distantly related than 50th cousins. go to Cousincouples.com to get more info I think its just great to find someone to love and love you back the way you need it. Why worry about what everyone else says, when it really only matters what you and yours thinks. Good Luck

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A female reader, dolla18 United Kingdom +, writes (17 May 2008):

dolla18 agony auntHi, no in my opinion it's not incest if it's with a cousin. (I myself am in a relationship with my 1st cousin, so i know how you feel i truly do) an in my opinion i think with it being your 3rd cousin then there is not much of a chance that it will affect any child you have, but if you are worried then seek help from your GP.

Good luck anonymous I hope it works out for you.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 August 2007):

i think in some states it's legal to marry your cousins.

to the person who is ranting about how wrong it is to get involved with any relative, i think you should be a little more open minded. some relatives are related soley by marriage you know. and in some cases the blood line stretches pretty far between two people. i myself find my 3rd cousins to be VERY attractive and i would date one of them at the drop of the hat.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (19 August 2007):

3rd cousin is pretty far out there. About the only thing to worry about is if you have a genetic defect in your family. The odds of it manifesting are higher in an incestous situation, might be good to have a genetic screening before having children, or you could adopt!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (18 July 2007):

Well... A relationship with any relative is just not acceptable. There are many people in this world for you to love and be loved. DONT DO IT! IT IS WRONG! Third, Fourth.. it really dont matter. You are still related by blood, blood dont get thinner! As for birth defects, I'm no doctor but I have seen first hand the problems incest children face. Why do that to a child? Is'nt it hard enough just being a kid in our world today? Birth defects can happen to anyone at anytime for any reason, but why push it- Play with fire and you will eventually get burned!

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A male reader, thedavies United Kingdom +, writes (13 July 2007):

Ist cousins can marry in the UK but what the family would think of it I don't know, I would not go with my first cousin, 3rd deffo, so there is nothing wrong with what you are doing. good luck sweetie.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (5 July 2007):

I am having a relationship with my third cousin, Heidi is a wpc, and as such is very responsible, in my view we are just barley related, the fact is I have never loved anyone more than I love her, we have the same ambitions, morals and dreams and get on like a house on fire. Our family don't know as yet apart for her sister and she is just happy to see us so happy.

Damn what people think is you want it to work it will work, it might be a shock to your family depending on how close your family are, but "THEY WILL GET USED TO THE IDEA" trust me, face you fears and live your dreams.

Love and happieness to you.

G x

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A reader, anonymous, writes (2 July 2007):

I dont think it it incestuous. I think in a way it makes more sense to marry cousins as you are probably gonna have similar foundations and ways of doing things- more common goals. I'd love my child to marry my sis's kid as they are such a smart and intelligent being, I know they are respectful and have been raised right. And thats 1st cousins, so i definately see nothing wrong with 3rd cousins. And like Frank Kermit said anyone can have a disabled child I know people who have kids for complete strangers and they still had disabled kid. Love is love- so good luck to you and I really hope your baby is ok and that your family come round to the idea. Good luck and be blessed.

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A male reader, Frank B Kermit Canada +, writes (30 June 2007):

Frank B Kermit agony auntIn some parts of the world the closest relative you can marry is a first cousin. As a 3rd cousin, there does not seem to be an issue for law.

There IS a higher chance for birth defects. When I did my family tree, I found that birth defects happened more often in the family branches where cousins, and other distant relatives married.

Basically, would you be the first cousins to be married in your respective bloodlines? If so, you should be safer than 1st cousins.

Look at your current bloodlines to find common illnesses that are herititary. That will give you and idea of what to look out for as a minimum.

But you should also know that even with the increased risk, you could still end up having a child with an illness that has nothing to do with your bloodlines (just like everyone else that takes the risk of having children).

If you two have enough love and committment to make it work, go for it.

-Frank B Kermit

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A reader, anonymous, writes (30 June 2007):

nope its legal and its far back enough that i highly doubt weather anything would happen to the kid

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A male reader, leonard j.Douglas Philippines +, writes (29 June 2007):

Hi! If Adam and Eve's children married each other and they did Did God call it sin? NO,NO,No. This same God said "I change not". So if it wasn't a sin against God then, It isn't now. So no matter what the Law or people say, I for one will go by God's Word. Go to yahoo.com CNN.com-FindLaw Forum It should give you some helpful Info. I doubt that your child would have any birth defects,Being as he's your third cousin, As for your parents, Don't know what kind of mind-set they have. But me,If you were my daughter, I would be over joyed. And to Hell with what others might say. I can see you are in love, Hope you are PG, and wish you both all of the best. Come to think of it, We are not even sure that Adam didn't have children by his own children. And being as God does allow for a man to have more than one wife. So even if Adam took one, or more, of his daughters to wife. He wouldn't of been in sin anymore than you or your cousin will be if you marry.

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A female reader, YummyMummy United Kingdom +, writes (29 June 2007):

YummyMummy agony auntI don't know aboout the States but over here you can marry your cousin legally. Its down to you and your 3rd cousin if you see it as incest.

The easiest way to tell your family your pregnant is to sit your mum and dad down first alone and tell them. You can tell others later but chat it through with your parents first :)

xxxxxxx

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