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A question regarding having a child with second cousin

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Hi everyone,

After 5 years of suffering, troubles, facing other people's negative comments and own obstacles(each of us has a bit of a temper :D)we are getting together :laugh: I am leaving my job and relocating to live with him. No plans to get married or engaged or something of the kind, all we need is to be together :) Well, I kind of daydream being his wife sometimes, however we shall see how it goes. Both are very happy and euphoric.

We are also planning to have a child and my question is did any of you had to face an additional portion of 'you shouldnt have done that' by a OB, doctor, nurse and etc. We have read so many articles and statistics on the subject, however we are still a bit hesitating whether we should try for a baby...and I want it so much, I can tell he wants it too.

The thing is that we are worried that there might be something because of us being 2nd cousins. We are both very healthy and fit, active lifestyles, non-smokers, none of us drinks or uses drugs or have done so in the past.

Did you tell your doctor you are expecting from a cousin?

How did they react?

Was everything alright with the pregnancy?

Sorry to ask such a question, however was everything alright with the baby? If not, at some point did you blame the same genes you are sharing. I am trying to collect as many opinions as possible and relax a bit about it.

Would appreciate any info and stories

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  • Administrator

ok first of all i have to ask something. why do you want a baby before a wedding? if you (or he) aren't ready for the commitment of marriage, then don't you realize that a baby is a huge commitment? if you and your 2nd cousin don't work out, you're still stuck with each other, and the person that will get hurt most is your child!

ok, lecture over. on to your question.

totally unrelated people have virtually the same genetic 'relatedness' as 2nd cousins. that means that you have the exact same risk of having a child with birth defects as any unrelated couple. no more, no less.

we have two pages of info on birth defect risks and how each category of risk affects different people based on kinship, ethnic background, gender, and a whole host of other things. it's really very interesting information, and thoroughly researched. i know, because i was the one doing the research, being mentored under some of the world's leading genetics experts via phone, email, and snail mail over a period of more than two years. please check it out when you have time, it will help ease your concerns. http://www.cousincouples.com/?page=overview

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  • Moderator

The main thing to do is relax!  We recommend ANY couple planning to have children, whether they are related or not, have an evaluation by a genetic counselor.  Problems with children of first cousins have been greatly exaggerated.  "Common knowledge" is full of false information.  Second cousins are even more remote.

I have not had a child so I can't give you information on pregnancy based on my actual experience but I'm sure others on site can help you.

From what you tell us of your lifestyle, I would expect your child to be normal and above average in intelligence.

Good luck and keep us posted, please.



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  • Old Timer

As stated, you're actually not closely related to a 2nd cousin. You've got the same risk of problems and defects as two lovers from two different families.

I think if you continue to place top priority on your health, you'll do just fine. Most of having a good, healthy pregnancy depends on having a good, healthy mom to be from start to finish.

As far as telling the Dr, I don't even know why it would come up. He's a 2nd cousin, just don't even mention it! :) It'll be fine. They will ask you questions like does the baby's father or his immediate family have congenital heart disease, Downs Syndrome, etc, at your first appointment but they're not going to ask you how you guys met or anything!

Good luck. :)

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Thank you LadyC, Nat and GirlSaysWhat!

@LadyC. My partner and I share the same opinion on marriage. We are convinced that a piece of paper cannot make someone stay with you or treat you better, or make things between you work. I was married once, very young and very excited to be someone's wife, have a diamond ring and etc..It did not end well. I was working very hard, studying at uni, paying all the bills, taking care of the house and etc. and receiving nothing in return. He was simply taking all I did for granted. Luckily, was smart enough to not have a child with that person, otherwise I would have stayed with him and be unhappy and depressed.

With my cousin things are way different, he is simply the other half of me. We understand and see things the same way. We can't afford to lose each other, as we have been through so much and paid such a high price to get together. Before making the decision we had a long period to consider all the risks and consequences to come along with.

A child is a huge commitment and we are both ready to have one. It is just on the back of my head that there is a risk, slightly higher than in the normal couples. And I tend to worry a bit more than most people...and think a bit too much..and for too long :/ He says everything will be fine and etc. but I know him, and I know that he is worried too.

Thats why I really need other second cousins to share their real stories and tell if they were worried too. Would help us a lot, as 2015 is the year we chose to start trying

@GirlSaysWhat! thank you thank you thank you!

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  • Administrator

well put your fears to rest, your risks for a child with birth defects are exactly the same as unrelated couples. not even "slightly" higher.

you'll find more people here who are first cousins with kids... and the vast majority of those kids were perfectly healthy and normal in every way :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

my brother and her wife are second cousin and they have a really very sweet baby (just like me) . he is too inteligent. but she had some complications on the first attemt.  miscarriage.

but that is perhaps because she is too weak. and i have seen many couples had that problem who are non relatives (even my mother father had such prob berfore our birth and they are not relatives)

my uncle and aunt dont have any children even after alot of treatment and they also are non relatives.(they are in their 60s now)

so what i want to say is, that doesnt matter if you are second cousins. you should go ahead.

as i told before my brother had a very sweet son, it could be an example for you. and one more thing she is a doctor. and trust me you will fall in love if you see my nephew.

chill now and go head .

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  • Administrator

right. 4-6% risk for FIRST cousins.

second cousins, however, have the exact same risks as unrelated couples.

but it is always a good idea for any couple, regardless of relationship, to see a genetic counselor prior to having children, because nobody knows what lurks in their family history until it's examined.

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