Adopted cousin relationship (how to inform the family)

Adopted cousin relationship (how to inform the family)

In this article, we talk about an adopted cousin relationship, what do to if you find yourself in this type of relationship, and how to talk with your family about it. 

I have a relationship with my adopted cousin

They say that love is blind, that it does not understand age, origin or religion. We are all clear that it does not understand gender either. But what happens when it doesn’t understand blood? We are not talking about siblings, but we are talking about cousins. 

A relationship between two cousins is, in most cases, an internal whirlwind for the protagonists. And, if possible, a hurricane for the rest of the family. Let’s go to the origin. The first sexual explorations often occur, due to proximity, between cousins. 

Those first dabbling that occurs as a result of a healthy curiosity in childhood can influence you later. Still, nobody is free to fall in love, although most find it hard to accept it.

Adopted cousin relationship (how to inform the family)

The 4 phases of acceptance

The phases of acceptance and internal reactions to these crushes can be compared to the phases of mourning.

The first is that of denial, where they think: ‘I don’t want to see it’; the second would be anger with life, with the family, with the other person and with oneself; the third is that of pain, in which you assume all the inconveniences that you are going to have and you worry about what they will say. The fourth, if the previous ones are exceeded, is that of acceptance

Between them, there are many comings and goings. “I leave you, I come back, I make you pay for having seduced me … It is a process in which many times difficulties and ruptures arise. The problems, in this case, can be compared to that of relationships between people of a different race or religion, or the same sex. 

But is blood comparable to other circumstances?  Yes, because everyone has their principles in life, and for those who have a barrier to something, breaking it down is very difficult. 

Once the relationship between the two parties is accepted, perhaps the most delicate step comes: telling the family. 

Telling your family

Just as you did not expect it and it shocked you and you needed time to digest it, the same thing will happen to the family. Even worse, because you have the positive counterpart of feeling good when you’re with that person, but they don’t. The experience for them will only be negative, so it will take even longer to assimilate it.

Above all, we have to be true to ourselves: We do not realize the importance of coherence to be happy. If you don’t act consistently, you won’t be consistent regardless of how successful you are. The same thing happens with the couple. It’s like that phrase that is often said: “Better to be fighting with others than with yourself.

Assuming the relationship, if it prospers it is worth considering the issue of children, widely debated due to the risks that inbreeding can entail. Consanguinity is understood as the relationship established between two people who share a close common relative. 

There is often talk of a ‘blood’ relationship between these two people. Even if in your case we speak about an adopted cousin, thus you are not blood-related, we must also speak about primary and secondary degree cousins here. 

Adopted cousin relationship (how to inform the family)

The important thing about inbreeding is the degree of kinship since ultimately, all of us have common ancestors at some point in our genealogical history; in fact, it can be said that all of us are cousins in a not so distant degree. 

In this sense, the researcher gives us the information: Inbreeding relationships have been very popular in some cultures; even today it is estimated that they could account for up to 10% of relationships worldwide, although in Europe the value would be much lower (1-3%). 

On the other hand, there are many cases of historical figures who had descendants in consanguineous marriages; like Charles Darwin, married to his cousin, Thomas Jefferson, Roosevelt… Thus, the experts assure us that two primary cousins inherit approximately an average of 25% of the genetic material from each parent, so they share an average of 12.5% of their genome, compared to 50% shared by two brothers. 

A father or mother can be a carrier of a lethal mutation without this leading to disease (recessive diseases are mentioned), but when a child inherits two copies of the same mutation, the disease appears. 

The fact that the primary cousins share more DNA than would be expected if they were not related increases the likelihood that their descendants will inherit the same mutation in duplicate. 

Technically, inbreeding is said to increase homozygosity [a property that increases the probability of suffering a genetic disease due to recessive genes]. Thus, the spectrum of diseases “is tremendously wide”, and they tend to have a low incidence in the general population, although it increases in the children that arise from these consanguineous unions.

Why do cousins get so close yo each other?

It is common to hear stories that between cousins there has been some closeness and first sexual investigations, which occur in various family spaces. What must be prevented is that some kind of abuse does not occur. If we talk about two 5-year-olds, there will never be abuse. But if we talk for example of a 12-year-old and a 5-year-old, it is a different story.

This can happen when there are approaches between families, but other different spaces have not been linked. For example, a school friend from the residential sector. So the closest thing that has different from siblings and parents, are cousins taken as friends, which can lead to confusing the relationship between family and partner.

How to take it within the family context?

It is necessary to speak it, to be guided by parents and other relatives. Promote family unity and respect ties. We are no one to judge, but nowadays this type of approach is not well seen. Although they are not prohibited either. They must be honest with their parents in particular. You have to sit down to see if it is love, a passing taste, curiosity, exploration or what happens within yourself.

Should it be left as a secret?

Never. This is worrying because it leads to an even greater problem within the family context. Trust and above all loyalty to her own family prevails in these cases. If you ask me personally, it seems to me that it affects the link even more than genetics itself because it is within the scope of what is prohibited.

Can you marry your adopted cousin?

Legally, yes, you can marry your adopted cousin, since you two are not blood-related. Morally and spiritually, there may be people against this marriage. 

Marriages between relatives occurred strongly during a period that goes more or less between 1760 and the entire 19th century, both in the countryside (mostly) and in the city (to a lesser degree). 

These links are called inbred, that is, they are made within the same group, in this case, blood relatives. What is interesting is that this phenomenon that occurred in places with low population density in limited territories, was so usual that I do not know a person who does not have this type of ancestor union.

Both in the civil and ecclesiastical order the relationships between people are measured, although with different purposes and measurement systems.

Adopted cousin relationship (how to inform the family)

As a conclusion

In this article, we talked about an adopted cousin relationship, what to do if you find yourself in this type of relationship, and how to talk with your family about it. 

If you are in a relationship with your adopted cousin, here are some points to keep in mind:

  •  There is a belief that children with mental malformations or disorders come from parents with close blood.
  • Proximity can occur because of cousins since childhood share interests.
  • The first cousins share a large part of their genetic endowment.
  • Talk it over with your other family members.
  •  Be aware that a family bond is stronger. Clarify your doubts.
  • Use your conscience and find an answer to what you feel. Clarify if it is temporary or true love.
  • Respect the opinions of others. Don’t go over yours. It is not a common situation.
  • If it is a formal relationship seek help from professionals, both psychological and medical.
  • Do not hide what you feel and express it with those closest to you.
  • Accept recommendations and support.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

FAQ on adopted cousin relationship

Is it OK to date your adopted cousin?

You can date your adopted cousin if you are both adults and you understand the moral consequences of your relationship. Since you are not blood-related, the law does not prohibit it. 

Can you marry your cousin in the UK in 2019?

In the UK 2019, you can be your cousin. However, many people are against this, as Unions between family members carry a higher risk when developing hereditary diseases. 

Is it wrong to marry your cousin?

Many consider that it is wrong to marry your cousin since it can lead to harmful genetic conditions. It would also probably make things awkward at the family meetings. 

What does the Bible say about marrying your cousin?

The Bible does not say anything about marrying your cousin. However, it is mentioned that sexual relations with several other close relatives are prohibited. 

Is it illegal to sleep with your cousin?

In most countries, yes it is illegal to sleep with your cousin, parent, grandparent, sibling. 

References

Legislation.gov.uk – Marriage (Prohibited Degrees of Relationship) Act 1986

Genetic-genealogy.co.uk   -FORBIDDEN MARRIAGE LAWS OF THE UNITED KINGDOM

Familytreeforum.com -Forbidden Marriages

Adopted cousin relationship (how to inform the family)

Nadejda Romanciuc

Nadejda Romanciuc holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a diploma in Addiction studies. She is part of the Romanian Association of Integrative Psychotherapy as a psychotherapist under supervision. She's practicing online counselling for over two years and is a strong advocate for mental health.