In Indonesia, marriage between first cousins is generally allowed under civil law, with some restrictions. Here is an overview of Indonesia’s laws concerning cousin unions.

Civil Law Permits Cousin Marriage

According to Indonesia’s Marriage Law No. 1/1974, marriage is permitted between biological first cousins. There is no universal prohibition under Indonesian civil law against cousins marrying.

This legal allowance also extends to double first cousins, who share both sets of grandparents. Despite their closer degree of kinship,Indonesian law does not bar double first cousins from marrying.

Some Religious and Customary Restrictions

However, Indonesia’s laws subject cousin marriage to any existing religious prohibitions or customary rules that may apply to the couple involved. This can impose some limitations.

For example, traditional Hindu communities on Bali strongly discourage or prohibit first cousin unions. And Islamic law followed by Muslim Indonesians only permits cousin marriage with certain categores of cousins.

Special Considerations for Adoptive Siblings

Additionally, adopted children in Indonesia are considered blood relatives of their adoptive parents. Therefore, marriage between adoptive siblings, including cousins, would generally be prohibited as incest under the law.

But biological cousin couples with no adoptive relationship are not barred from marrying under civil regulations.

Social Norms Also Discourage It

Despite permissive civil laws, many segments of Indonesian society still view cousin marriages as undesirable. Concerns around birth defects and genetic risks prevail among the public.

Surveys show 60-70% of Indonesians oppose unions between first cousins. Social attitudes impose non-legal hurdles throughout society.


In summary, Indonesian civil law allows first cousin marriage but religious and customary prohibitions that vary by community must be considered. Societal disapproval also remains strong. These complex factors make cousin marriage challenging for most couples.