Unlike many states, Georgia allows marriage between first cousins under state law. Here’s an examination of Georgia’s regulations concerning marriages between biological cousins.
Marriage Between Siblings is Prohibited
Georgia law expressly prohibits marriages between biological siblings as well as half-siblings, step-siblings, and adoptive siblings. These relationships are considered incestuous under O.C.G.A § 19-3-2.
Attempting to marry or engage in sexual conduct with a sibling constitutes a felony in Georgia. However, first cousins are not included in the prohibited degrees of kinship.
First Cousins Can Legally Marry
In contrast to bans on sibling marriage, first cousin marriage is fully permitted in Georgia with no prohibitions or limitations imposed by law.
This allowance includes double first cousins, who share both sets of grandparents. Despite the closer genetic tie, they may still legally wed in Georgia.
No Special Requirements for First Cousins
Additionally, Georgia does not require genetic testing, medical screening, infertility diagnoses or any other special prerequisites for first cousins to marry.
First cousins have the same marriage rights and responsibilities as unrelated couples under Georgia law. They can marry under standard marriage regulations.
Social Stigma Still Exists
However, marriages between first cousins may still face some social disapproval in Georgia due to persisting cultural taboos. Laws are gradually changing, but biases often linger.
Supporters argue it should be accepted as a personal choice, but critics worry about potential health effects on offspring. These views create stigma.
In summary, Georgia places no restrictions on marriage between consenting adult first cousins, granting them full marital rights. But prospective couples should still prepare for skepticism from some segments of society.