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Is it legal to sleep with your first cousin?

Tagged as: Dating, Family<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (29 January 2007) 36 Answers - (Newest, 10 March 2013)
A female United Kingdom age 41-50, *auline writes:

is it legal to sleep with your first cousin,

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A female reader, Dan and lyn United States +, writes (10 March 2013):

Dan and lyn agony auntI think its perfectly normal i have been with my first cousin for a decade now and we share a perfectly normal child we don't carte what people say or think about it this is our lives and were very happy together

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A female reader, happylove4 United States +, writes (14 September 2012):

am dating my first cousion for almost 4 months and we are now getting ready for our wedding.

the only thing is my mom and his mom and his brother does not like it. but he makes me happy and makes me laugh and we are also having our first baby together. can some one help me and tell me what should we do about our family. he has already told me that imake him so happy that we can't not stand being alone or apart for so long.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (25 February 2011):

I had a relationship with my cousin, it felt so different so sprecial, we kept the secret for a while, and finally decided to tell our families who were V unhappy. We have since married and have a healthy child. The information regarding children is so inaccurate the chances of having a child with any problesm only increases by 2%. I Say Follow your heart or suffer in silence for the rest of your life.

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A female reader, scarleet52 United States +, writes (11 February 2011):

Iam currently having an affair with my cousin, iam now 17 and he is 20 yrs older than iam. That seems to be the biggest factor against us.We haven't been together for very long, but we've begun to love each other enormously and passionatly. I would love to marry him one day but we both know that would only couse a great fight between our families. Iam in the thought of do what you belive is best for you and live your life with the one person you love. But in this case it is very hard to do so.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (25 August 2010):

Don't do it http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/4od#3116215

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A reader, anonymous, writes (20 August 2010):

I have been in a relationship with my first cousin now for 4 years and we are soooo happy together, it has ruined my relationship with my Mum and Dad, they dont agree with the desion i have made, but you cant help who you love. Do whats right for you, at the end of the day you cant live your life for other people and if it will make you happy then go for it.

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A female reader, poppydolly United Kingdom +, writes (26 March 2010):

it is 100% legal to sleep or marry your cousin, i am in a sexual relationship with my first cousin, we would like to be together but there is a bit of an age cap, and feel it would pull our families apart. It is so hard for the both of us as we could never be together without loosing alot

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (2 October 2009):

some places it is and as I know in England or anywhere in the UK its is legal but ur in your 40's!!! you should be over the period to want to screw ur cousin that's childhood stuff not adulthood. But it's legal to fuck ur cousin even marriage so yeah. but use safty okay condoms or soemthing its just you get pregant and keep the baby theres an extra 1-2 percent chance that it'll be fucked up some how! not to mention your reputation you would be ruining!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (1 October 2009):

If you are young, use the internet to help you come to your own decision. I had an intense experience with my cousin 26 years ago, it was like nothing I have ever experienced with any other woman before or since. It was completely mind blowing.

If I had known all the information avaiable to people on the net then (it didn't exist then, and it's not as it you can talk to people about it!) I would have acted totally different.

I loved her then, and I love her now, I will love her till I die. but at the time we both resolved to keep it a secret from everyone, looking back, I think that was a huge mistake, as soon as you make a vow of secrecy, you become it's prisoner, which I bitterly regret, we've each gone different ways, long since, but I regret that every second of my life, and whenever I think about it much, I cry, uncontrollably. That is why I try not to think about it now, at all, ever.

Don't listen to what people say, listen to what your heart tells you, you've only got one life, and one chance to be happy.

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A female reader, Yogi@peace United States +, writes (23 September 2009):

myself and my first cousin have been together for three years. together we have driven from Maine to Florida, From the Atlantic to the pacific. we stopped in Vegas, LA, Huston, we saw lake Erie, we went surfing and we burned purple. we spent two days trying not to let anything touch us and it was SO worth it! we dressed up and went out to the casinos like high rollers, we're so doing that again! we're building a house, we are crafts men and artist the learn and grow from eachother.

we didn't know each other well when we were young. with an exception of Christmas I never saw him. then one Christmas out of some sort of dire duty i pack my sword and shield and went to the Christmas reunion. and the only person I was hoping to see wasn't there! (my now fiance)so i got his number and showed up at his house a few days later and met his g/f, who unfortunately for her, left him two weeks later. we decided to get trashed one night, and well, we made love, amazing passionate beautiful love.

for a wile I had nightmares of my uncle finding out and shooting us lol. but now I love him so much I don't care who knows, and their opinions don't make a difference to me. we are getting married, and we were planing on having children when we could find a suitable doctor...but I kinda got pushed into that a little soon. I'm nervous, and excited about taking this on.

there's no way to explain a woman's yearning for children. it's so powerful. an intense instinct to find security, some one who loves you and some one to love. when you're in love with a man, he is just the most beautiful thing, and i couldn't imagine having children with an other man. a sperm doner just doesn't cut it. I want my children to have his eyes, his motor skills, and his brilliant mind.

I found this forum and so many of your answers were so beautiful and encouraging. thank you so much! I don't have enough money to support a child, and I know i can get help from my state, but in my state our relationship is illegal. how do i find an understanding doctor?

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A female reader, fooberry United States +, writes (21 May 2009):

my ex father of my four kids left me for his second cousin they had a baby together and shes very handicapped after ten years he left her for his first cousin and is still with her .i do not think it is right to be with any family member like that and could not see my boys dating my sister daughters its just wrong and i make sure my kids know this .its just wrong in my book.what next dating your sister .how do you deal with it at family reunions ?

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A reader, anonymous, writes (31 October 2008):

Thanks Uncle Phil, I'm gonna bookmark this one for further references. It is legal to marry and have sexual relationships with your first cousin in the UK, as long as you are both at the age of consent. UK 16years old.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (31 October 2008):

I know this is an old question, but I just recently discovered that Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were first cousins.

The couple had nine children. Most of them married into European royal families, like those of Denmark, Russia, Prussia and the German Empire. The Royal Family today is related to many European monarchies because of the marriages of Queen Victoria's children. Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, is also a descendant of Queen Victoria through one of her children.

Queen Victoria was survived by 6 children, 40 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren, including four future sovereigns of England: Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII and George VI.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 September 2008):

My son and his cousin began a relationship two years ago. The family were divided on it. I wasnt happy about it because i knew it would cause trouble. The family divided and some regrouped. My brother disowned me because i wouldnt kick my only son out. Two years down the line they are in love and have a strong relationship and are planning the future. I wouldnt have been able to stop them. I'ts not against the law. 20percent of the world have cousin relationships and only one state in america it is against the law.

I know more people who are having affairs, now that seems to be more accepted. If your religious did you know that Joseph and Mary were first cousins. Also Albert Einstein married his first cousin and went on to have four brilliant children... i could go on. Some people have tunnel vision.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 September 2008):

im inlove with my first cousin and its so hard for the both of us...you just have to be strong and be prepared for the comments people make...i dont see the big deal of the situation but it just the society have a negative impact to this

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A male reader, Pontoof United Kingdom +, writes (10 September 2008):

Well im an A2 law student and to be honest im 95% sure that it is perfectly legal to have sex with your cousin. And as more of a personal oppinion as to wether its moraly right or not go for it!!!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 June 2008):

Honestly...it's wrong in a lot of other people's eyes because of their definition and the ACTUAL definition of "family". But to me, I support it to the fullest. I am with my 1st cousin and we're about to have a baby. We're in love, grew up together and were always very close. No regrets EVER...Love comes in all mysterious ways that are not alwayz meant to be understood. Everyone has their own opinions, but if your just an ignorant someone just out there trying to belittle everyone who supports 1st cousin relationships...

1. You will never know unless you experience it

2. If you have nothing nice to say...shut it

3. Live your own life and stop critisizing everyone elses

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (17 April 2008):

I think ive heard something about cousins having a child together, i seem to remember that because the genes are so close together it can cause some abnormalities in the child, im not 100% sure, worth a think about tho!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (10 April 2008):

well im in a relationship with my first cousin, and if others wish to see it as wrong; go ahead. it doesn't bother us. we fell in love, from a young age we were very close. its legal so theres nothng wrong with it.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (28 March 2008):

i dont care if it is im sleeping with mine and we are very happy i think that is all that matters....

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (27 March 2008):

I am just about to celebrate my silver wedding with my husband who is my first cousin and I love him more each day he is my rock

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (23 January 2008):

I have to say that it all depends on the individuals involved. My ex fell in love with his first cousin but they were raised as basically brother and sister. It ended because she felt embarassed by the situation and he did not tell anyone about it and when I asked him he got very defensive. I think that if you think that it is wrong and then do it anyway then there is something wrong with it. If you can announce it proudly and not act like you have a problem with it it is ok. If that makes sense

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A female reader, xx Penny xx United Kingdom +, writes (23 January 2008):

me and my boyfriend are first cousins and see nothing 'weird' about it at all. We have never really been close family and just fell in love by chance. we are though wondering what would be the best thing to do about having children?????? any help???????

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (31 October 2007):

I dont see any problem with it and I can imagine cousins in a relationship will have a little fun poked at and then it'll be soon forgtton about. Brother and Sister ye thats bad but its not that is it!!! I have heard that we're all 15 cousins away from one another. And it is only the last century if that that we dont here so much about it because in the Uk before transport you would simply marry someone in the town our village often a cousin with no prejudice. So it seems a minority of people only quite recent have these daft thoughts. People that think its not right need to lay there cards on the table to themselves and think of the skeletons from there own cupboards and they'd probably shut there mouths. Its not illegal, its not hurting anyone, its not wrong. The amount of prople that steel, mug, have affairs, bigamists, adultry, perverts and the rest and they have to have an opinion of this subject, well they quiet clearly need to stop gossiping, curtain twitching and get on with there own lives and I bet a cousin couple would generally make a better job of there lives, shouldn't even be discussing it your all mad if this is what bothers you in life!!!!!...Really!?! think about it lol

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (22 February 2007):

I think it is sick especially between older male and younger female cousins u cud imagine him watching her grow up. Plus people may not say it but the majority will b thinking u r twisted not to mention if they have kids come on! There r 6 billion people in the world find sum1 else i know they say blood is thicker than water but this just takes the mick.A.L edinburgh

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A female reader, willywombat United Kingdom +, writes (5 February 2007):

willywombat agony auntNot sure, but is a bit of a stnading joke in this country....

I actually thought he sounded like that beacuse he was programmed

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

Is that why Prince Charles sound like that? [wink]

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A female reader, willywombat United Kingdom +, writes (1 February 2007):

willywombat agony auntBut then again, take a look at the British Royal Family for evidence of what 'interbreeding' can do if practised for generations...

This for those of you missing a humour chip' is an attempt at a joke.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (29 January 2007):

And I second what Pete said. 8]

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A female reader, willywombat United Kingdom +, writes (29 January 2007):

willywombat agony auntPlus when you do the research there is only a fraction of a difference in genetic problems with children born in this sort of relationship. If you where planning children you can ask to be screened and your GP/clinic will put you in touch with the relevant people.

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A female reader, willywombat United Kingdom +, writes (29 January 2007):

willywombat agony auntYes it is in the UK. It is not incest and it is not morally wrong.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (29 January 2007):

Personally I don't really see what the big deal is about first-cousin relationships.

I actually know some first-cousin relationships that have happened and they seemed to work out pretty well. One person I spoke to said 'I get on with them so well it's like we have a connection' - what connection would that be, I thought to myself. That they are almost like a brother? ha ha.

Here are some points I found on the Internet:

* 20% of marriages around the world are between first-cousins.

* Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin married their first cousins.

* Is prohibited in half the United States, is legal in Canada and throughout Europe.

* a study by the National Society of Genetic Counselors says that having a child with your first cousin raises the risk of a significant birth defect from about 3-to-4 percent to about 4-to-7 percent.

My view, political if you like, is that if two consenting people want to do something together then what business is it of anyone else's? no ones. If we want to force these people to not reproduce then we should also start euthanizing all people with genetic problems, we could start with the disabled, move on to blind people then finish with everyone who has a lower than average IQ. Large gas chambers seemed to work well. If we're going to improve our genetic future we might as well be consistent about it..

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A female reader, Nikita United Kingdom +, writes (29 January 2007):

Nikita agony auntWell, here in the Uk, its legal so yes but its really a question of how you and others feel about this. Im not sure that having any children with your frist cousin would be agood idea but as the others have said, it is a moral issue and soemthing that you have to think seriously about. x

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A reader, anonymous, writes (29 January 2007):

Yup, legality depends on where you live. Morality in question depends whom that morality originated from, why, how, and if any, who does it harm.

People tend to say it's wrong, but have no viable reasoning to back their ideals up. Some people say it's wrong because there is a good chance babies between cousins will come out retarded - but that figure is highly exaggerated. Cousins having babies have that deformation percentage only mildly higher, and this also depends on environment as well. Then again, many cultures and regions in the world allow cousins to marry and have kids, and a huge majority of what I have researched have depicted cousins to have normal families for generations. So think about that.

Then again, if you're just having sex, then it's just pleasure.

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A female reader, Tanyas247 United States +, writes (29 January 2007):

Tanyas247 agony auntBad idea! Family is always going to be there, and since the relationship probably won't lead to marriage, I would keep it simple and look outside the family for relations.

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A female reader, melschatbox United States +, writes (29 January 2007):

melschatbox agony auntI think it depends in what state...the question then becomes is it moral to sleep with your first cousin.

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