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Thread: Double Cousin Marriage and Offspring: What are the genetic issues?

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    Double Cousin Marriage and Offspring: What are the genetic issues?

    My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for the past six years. Apparently I opened a Pandora's box when I told his mother that we want to do genetic testing before we start IVF later this year. She got really angry and eventually she blurted out that her parents are double first cousins. She and I don't have the greatest relationship because she believes that I come from a "poor genetic background" because I am basically your all American mutt of European descent. She always brags that she is superior to me because she is 100% Swedish while I am a mix of literally every part of the European continent except Italy and Greece.

    I ended up calling her sister, who I have a much better relationship with, and she told me the whole story about how their grandparents are a mix of a pair of siblings and that their parents are the male and female children from both marriages. The family emigrated from Sweden to the United States in the late 19th century and apparently it was quite common for a never married 30 something in the family to be married off to a first cousin or other relative if they couldn't find someone outside the family who was Swedish to marry. My husband's aunt told me that her parents had to go to another state to get married because the state that they were living in had a ban on first cousins marrying so they obviously knew what they were doing. I actually threw up in my mouth a little when I read that double cousins having children was like half siblings having children.

    My father-in-law is an Ashkenazi Jew who may have a history of family marriage in his own family tree. My husband is the only child his parents have.

    What kind of health issues could affect the son (and offspring) of people with this type of genetic background? I knew that there was something off when my husband's parents got VERY angry at me for doing an Ancestry DNA test on myself and when I began working with my mom's aunt on a family tree project.

    They have also always been obsessed with their son marrying someone who was Swedish and/or Ashkenazi Jew and "keeping the line pure". They actually broke up a relationship that he had with a Korean woman during the early days of his military career because they didn't want "any Asian in the genetic mix". He met me a few years before he retired and was never married at the age of 35 because of their standards on the genetic background of his potential mates.

    At this point I don't want to have children with my husband because of the inbreeding in his mother's (and possibly father's) families. My husband feels really bad and now wants me to trace his family history for him just so he knows. I feel like I just drew out a HUGE family secret! My husband's mother is literally begging me to cancel my Ancestry account right now.

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    You have the right to know. Make decisions afterwards. Your husband supports you, that's what you need to know, nothing else. Talk to experts about the offspring and risks, it's better than to suppose something. I hope that it's not that dramatic as it seems and good luck.

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    I agree. Swedes are a real pain in the butt. Jk

    Isn't human history filled with instances double cousin marriages? I would assume 150-200 years ago, it wasn't uncommon for cousins to marry, especially in smaller villages throughout the world, including Europe. I think you'll be ok but I don't blame you for undergoing genetic testing. Good luck!!

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    Keep your course and don't listen to these bitter racist old people. As long as you two are not cousins, your kid's genetics will be an improvement on your husband's. Good luck.
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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