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I'm in love with my cousin; he's actually my first cousin from my mom's side and second cousin from my dad's side

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Guest Stacy


We are first as well as second cousins.

He is my mom's sister's son as well as my dad's cousin's son. So we are doubly related. How does this affect any chances of having children? Moreover is it difficult to get approval from the Roman Catholic Church?

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so on your dad's side, you're actually first cousins once removed, not second cousins.

the degree of kinship and how it might impact things like birth disorders pertains isn't going to be higher really... the risk for first cousins is already low (1.4 to 2.8% higher than anyone else.) that's on one side of the family.  on the other side, first cousins once removed also have a low risk (0.75 to 1.4% higher than unrelated couples). but you don't add the two together because they're from two different lineages, unless your mom and dad are also related to each other. the only difference is that if you wanted to have genetic counseling (and we recommend that to anyone, regardless), you should have be sure and provide a detailed family medical history from both sides of the family. but if you choose not to see a GC, your risks are still quite low, so don't spend too much time worrying.

it shouldn't matter with the catholic church, either. they just want the money for the dispensation papers. occasionally someone puts the paperwork thru to a bishop or priest or whatever that has a personal bias against cousin marriage, but if that happens, go apply thru a different diocese.

on the menu up above, go to the basement archives and select 'chat with an expert transcripts'. when you get that page open, find the one with amy strickland. she is a canon law expert who visited with us online several years ago. she did her thesis on the subject of cousin marriage within the catholic church. you'll find a lot of good information there. and for the record, whenever you run across CnMe in there, that is me. my user name has changed over the years.

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