In Alberta, marriage between first cousins is legal. Here’s an overview of the laws concerning cousin marriage as well as prevailing social attitudes in the province.

Past Prohibitions Have Been Repealed

Historically, Alberta law prohibited marriages between first cousins. However, those legal barriers have since been repealed.

Today, the Alberta Marriage Act places no restrictions on marriage between biological first cousins. There are no special requirements like blood tests to prove the relationship before marrying.

First cousins can legally wed in Alberta under the same rules as non-related couples. The provincial law does not prohibit cousin marriage.

Alignment With National Laws

Additionally, Canada’s federal criminal code does not bar first cousin marriages. The Canadian Marriage (Prohibited Degrees) Act only prohibits direct ancestor-descendant and sibling relationships.

First cousins are outside the prohibited degrees. So Alberta’s laws align with national Canadian regulations allowing cousin marriage.

Double First Cousins Also Permitted

The allowance extends to double first cousins as well, who share all the same grandparents instead of just one. Despite being genetically similar to half-siblings, double cousins may still legally marry under Alberta and Canadian law.

No regulations prohibit cousin marriage, even between double cousins with closer DNA.

Social Stigma Still Exists

However, even though lawful, cousin marriages may still face social stigma in Alberta. Some segments of society express concerns about potential health risks for children or view such marriages as inappropriate.

Public attitudes can vary significantly from the letter of the law. Younger generations tend to be more accepting of cousin marriage than older demographics.

Rationale For Allowing Cousin Marriage

Supporters argue bans are unwarranted infringements on personal liberty between consenting adults. The known health risks can be mitigated with genetic testing.

Canada’s laws emphasize personal freedom and aim to balance public concerns with individual rights. Cousin marriage is considered a personal choice.


In summary, the laws of Alberta and Canada permit marriage between first cousins with no restrictions. Couples do not have to prove their relationship. While social acceptance fluctuates, the law gives cousins the right to marry if they wish.