Trying to find a suitable mate to spend the rest of your life with can be very challenging, and despite the many prospective mates out there, a majority of them turn out to be complete jerks or you’re simply incompatible.
So, what do you do if you finally find your ideal mate, but it happens to be your first cousin? In which states can you legally marry your first cousin?
There are 25 states where marrying your first cousin is illegal – no exceptions.
There are only six states that allow marriages between first cousins, with restrictions, while 19 states allow first-cousin marriages without any restrictions at all.
Here is an overview of the states that allow first-cousin marriages without restrictions as well as the six that allow them with restrictions.
Yes, the state of Alabama does allow first cousins to marry, and these couples don’t have to worry about any restrictions.
So, if you live in this state and you and your first cousin have fallen in love and want to marry, then you shouldn’t encounter any difficulty with doing so.
Even if the two of you want to have children together, you’re allowed to do so in this state.
Yes, the states of Arizona and Indiana do allow first cousins to marry, but there are certain restrictions.
The lawmakers in Arizona and Indiana are concerned about the offspring of first cousins being born with disabilities due to the cousins sharing so much DNA.
As a result, first cousins can only legally marry in Arizona and Indiana if they’re over 65 or one is infertile and can provide proof of this.
If you’re looking for states that allow marriages between cousins without restrictions, you can choose from Virginia, Vermont, Tennessee, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New York, New Mexico, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Hawaii, Georgia, Florida, District of Columbia, Connecticut, Colorado, California, and Alaska.
North Carolina allows first cousins to marry, but they don’t allow double first-cousin marriages.
For instance, the children of two brothers can’t marry two sisters in the state of North Carolina.
When completing the marriage license, just make sure you answer all the questions honestly and there shouldn’t be any problems.
The state of Illinois allows marriage between first cousins if both parties are aged 50 or older or one is infertile with proof from a medical doctor.
Like a couple of other states, Illinois has this restriction in place because they’re trying to prevent cousin couples from having children that are disabled due to their similar DNA.
It is legal for first cousins to marry in the state of Maine. However, the couple must have undergone genetic testing ahead of time and provided the results.
As long as the results state that the couple is compatible to reproduce with little risk of disability in any offspring, their marriage will be allowed.
In the state of Utah, first cousins can marry if they’re both 65 years old and older.
However, an exception will be made for those aged 55 years old and older if a medical professional provides valid proof of infertility.
This state, like others, is trying to prevent the likelihood of disabled children being born to parents with too-similar DNA.
Yes, Wisconsin does allow first cousins to marry, but the woman must be at least 55 years old or show proof of sterility in either herself or her partner.
Again, Wisconsin is another state that is attempting to prevent the births of disabled children, which has been shown to occur more frequently in closely related relatives.
This is why many states flat-out disapprove of marriage between first cousins.
Although you and your first cousin share a fair bit of DNA, as long as you both consent to the relationship and believe that it isn’t incest, then it isn’t.
Of course, others will have their own opinions, but you can ignore what others think and say and enjoy being with the love of your life.
Besides, there are many states in which you can get legally married and if it was considered incestuous to marry your first cousin, this wouldn’t be possible.
There is no way to provide a definitive answer to this question, but there are a number of genetic tests that can be performed to determine the likelihood of this occurring.
If first cousins find out that there is a high likelihood of giving birth to disabled children, the couple can opt to adopt or pursue some other way in which to have a family together.
There are a lot more options now than there were years ago.
If a woman has sex with her first cousin in a state where first cousins aren’t allowed to marry, is it a felony?
This completely depends on the specific state, as some states prohibit marriage between first cousins but it’s acceptable for them to live together and share an intimate relationship.
Some states consider it to be incest for first cousins to engage in sexual activity, and depending on the state, the couple could spend as long as 20 years in prison.
Any first cousins living in a state where it’s not legal for first cousins to marry or live together as a couple should be very careful.
People are entitled to their opinion, but that doesn’t mean that you should allow their opinions to dictate your life.
Many people feel that intimacy and marriage between first cousins are gross because they’re so closely related and share some DNA.
People will believe that it’s especially gross if the first cousins grew up together, as many cousins do, because many are so close that they’re more like brothers and sisters than mere cousins.
If a woman truly believes that her first cousin is her soulmate and they’re both ready to start a life together, then she should most definitely not call off the wedding.
Everyone knows how challenging it can be to find that special someone that you connect with almost perfectly.
Besides, everyone may have a change of heart in the future after they see how determined the couple is to be together despite adversity.
All a woman can do is try her best to explain to her family how she feels about the man she’s fallen in love with – who just happens to be her first cousin.
While it may take some time for her family to accept the marriage, the woman and her cousin need to face the fact that family members may never approve of or support their relationship.
They may even have to move to get away from the comments that family and friends will likely make, as this could put a strain on their marriage.
There isn’t enough data available to determine any statistics regarding marriage between first cousins in the United States.
It’s not that these marriages no longer occur, it’s probably that people fail to report that they’re first cousins when they apply for their marriage license.
It is illegal to fail to answer the questions on the marriage license truthfully, and if authorities were to find out, the marriage could be voided.
Cousin marriage used to be quite prevalent in England before the 19th century, but research eventually showed that any children produced by cousins were at risk for health defects and abnormalities.
Research showed that children born to cousins had double the chances of being born with various genetic disorders than children born to non-cousin parents.
After this time, cousin marriage became taboo and frowned upon, so fewer and fewer cousins were marrying.
Marriage between first cousins was legal in all states prior to the Civil War, but anthropologists and other professionals began to protest it as there was a great deal of evidence proving that the children of first cousins have an increased chance of being born with mentally and physically disabled children.
However, there are many first cousins who marry and have children who are healthy and free of any disabilities.
So, if you’ve found your soulmate, who happens to be your first cousin, then you should get married if that’s what you desire to do, and if you want to have children, there are sperm and egg donation centers available, embryo adoption, as well as genetic testing available.