In Colombia, marriage between first cousins is permitted under civil law. However, restrictions apply in certain circumstances. Here is an overview of Colombia’s laws regarding cousin marriage.

Civil Law Allows Cousin Marriage

According to Colombia’s Civil Code, marriage is allowed between biological first cousins with a few specific exceptions. There is no blanket prohibition of cousins marrying.

This legal allowance also extends to double first cousins, who share both sets of grandparents rather than just one. Despite being genetically similar to half-siblings, double cousins can legally wed.

Restrictions With Adoptive Relationships

However, Colombia’s laws impose some limitations when adoptive relationships are involved. Marriage between adoptive siblings is prohibited.

Additionally, marriage between biological first cousins is restricted if one cousin was adopted by the other’s biological aunt/uncle, creating an adoptive first cousin relationship. These particular unions are barred.

Age Restrictions Also Apply

Colombia’s legal code also enforces age requirements in order for first cousins to marry. If one cousin is under age 18, the other must be at least 27 years old for the marriage to be valid.

This aims to deter child marriages between adolescent first cousins, which raises additional ethical concerns separate from the biological relationship.

Social Norms Also Frown Upon It

Even though legally permitted in most cases, cousin marriage is socially discouraged in much of Colombia. Surveys indicate 60-70% public disapproval of unions between first cousins.

Stigma stems from perceptions of genetic risks and incest taboos. Social attitudes can differ substantially from formal laws.

Rationale Behind Colombia’s Laws

Like other Latin American countries, Colombia weighs individual freedom and autonomy heavily when regulating marriage between cousins.

But some limited restrictions address ethical issues like adoptive sibling relationships and child marriage. Ultimately Colombia aims to strike a balance in its legal approach.


In summary, Colombian civil law permits marriage between consenting adult first cousins with a few prohibited circumstances. However, strong social disapproval persists nationwide. Cousin couples should expect mixed reactions from the public even if their marriage is legally valid.