Alaska permits marriage between first cousins, unlike many U.S. states that prohibit the practice. Here’s a look at Alaska’s laws on cousin marriage.

Marriages Between Siblings are Banned

Under Alaska Statute 11.41.450, marriages and sexual relationships between siblings, both full and half, are considered incest and expressly prohibited. This includes step-siblings as well as adoptive siblings.

Attempting to marry or engage in sexual conduct with a sibling in Alaska constitutes a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison. However, first cousins do not fall under the prohibited degrees of kinship.

First Cousins Can Legally Marry

Unlike siblings, first cousins are permitted to marry under Alaska state law. There are no prohibitions or restrictions imposed on marrying your biological first cousin in Alaska.

This allowance includes double first cousins who share both sets of grandparents. Despite the closer genetic ties, double first cousins may still legally wed in Alaska.

No Special Requirements for Cousins

Alaska does not impose any extra prerequisites for cousins to marry like genetic testing, medical screening, or fertility examinations. Cousin couples enjoy full marriage rights.

Some states require precautions before permitting cousin marriages, but first cousins in Alaska can marry unimpeded under the standard marriage rules.

Compare Nationwide Cousin Marriage Laws

It’s important to note cousin marriage laws vary substantially across the 50 states. Roughly half of states currently prohibit marriage between first cousins.

Others impose restrictions like requiring the couple be infertile. So Alaska’s position allowing cousin marriage contrasts with many states, especially in the southeastern U.S.

Rationale for Allowing Cousin Marriage

Supporters argue prohibitions contradict principles of personal freedom and choice in matters of family. They also claim potential risks are exaggerated and manageable.

Alaska’s laws emphasize individual liberty over public health justifications for banning cousin marriage. But social attitudes can still disapprove.


In summary, Alaska stands out as one of the states permitting first cousin marriages with no restrictions. Cousins have the same marriage rights as other couples. Those wishing to marry a cousin won’t face any legal impediments in Alaska