Child born of incest?
Has anyone had any experience with children born of incest? There is a particular situation in our area with a baby that was born from second cousins. The father has already had several children from his first cousin. The grandparents are cousins.

What effects does this have on children??

Thanks for any info.
I would think with that kind of genetic "circling" (instead of branching) that you should really speak with your peditrician and potentially a Genetics Dr.

I don't think I could do this particlar situation. I think second cousins I would be ok with, but not the repeated nature of the family reproducing with family.
I was suprised to find the last time I researched this that, setting aside the social stigma, incest is not particularly bad genetically. At least not as bad as I always assumed. I would think second cousins would be fine.
I think the "concern" is the enhanced risk of hereditary disease. But I believe there are some studies that have said that the incidence is lower than people think (though still a concern), especially the "further" apart the relationship. I think in some states, it may even be "legal" to marry your first cousin?? (I may be wrong on this.) Is the baby healthy (I take it s/he has already been born?).

As Aclee said, this is a "tough" story that you would have to explain to the child if you adopt (but, to be honest, I also have a "tough story" -- in some aspects, they are all tough stories!).

I do think it would be wise to figure out the current health of the baby and present any concerns to a ped....Good luck!!!
Marriage is legal in most states for second cousins, just not between first cousins. The genetic risks aren't all that much greater for second cousins than they are for couples who aren't related by blood.
I agree with Nevada - if you research this, you'll find that the risk, depending on the degree of relationship, if smaller than most think. And we sometimes forget that there have to be specific genetic defects in the family tree (usually recessive, so they need one allele from the mother and the other from the father) for them to manifest. If there are none, they won't. That doesn't mean that something unexpected or spontaneous can't manifest, however.

I've seen my fair share of kids who were born as a product of in-family relationships, mostly with couples from South East Asia and the Middle East. All the kids I saw were products of first cousin relationships. Most had complex genetic disorders that were not well understood (one family had 4 kids, all of whom were affected to some degree). That said, in 3 years of residency training, I saw maybe 5 kids, and 3 of them were in the hospital literally every month.

I would do extensive research, and as aclee suggested, speaking to a genetics specialist (preferably pediatric) would be your best bet.
Agree with RavenSong. Second cousins is far enough to be considered safe genetically. I would not call it "incest" either.
I'd be more worried about the grandparents being first cousins than the fact that they are second cousins to be honest.
My great grandparents were First Cousins. Nothing that we know of was a negative result of that. Second cousins are really "far" apart in the gene poll.
WizardofOz said...
Agree with RavenSong. Second cousins is far enough to be considered safe genetically. I would not call it "incest" either.

I apologize if that wasn't the correct word choice. That is how this situation was explained on the information we received. The sentence said something to the effect of, "Adoptive parents should be aware of the potential issues that occur when so many incestuous relationships happen within one family." Again, if that term was incorrect or offensive, I apologize.
Thanks, everyone, for the replies. I don't think our odds are good on this particular situation, but you never know, right? Smile
I would find out, if you can, if any genetic disorders run in the family. I'm really not sure what I would do. If the family is of a culture where this is the norm, then I would probably proceed. Something where there was abuse or weird things going on, I might not. We reluctantly decided against being open to a child of rape because we just didn't feel we could handle having to explain that to a child. So, in the same sense, I don't think we would accept a situation that was a product of immediate family incest or abuse.

I know that this is about a month late but I wanted to throw in the "other side". I am an adoptee that was a product of rape/incest. My biological great grandfather is my father. There were 5 children born and adopted out from this horrific situation. I know a little hard to picture.

While our father/mother "relationship" is a lot closer related than cousins, my health in general isn't bad. The only real downside is the inability to have children and a pituitary gland in-balance. My sister, who is of the same mother/father and was adopted with me to the same parents, is also unable to have children and is currently having trouble with blood clots, but she is going through genetic testing right now to determine if it is related to the family makeup or an injury that produced blood clots that went undetermined.

Personally since it appears that there might have been some several generations of incest, you may want to just have a genetics test done just to make sure nothing serious is going on that you can take care of now instead of trying to find out 30 years down the road like my sister and I.

I just wanted to throw my 2 cents in

Our family Dr is married to his second cousin and they have one son who is also a medical Dr. I don't think second cousins is considered insest.
Here's a quote from an online article about cousin marriage.

"Many genetic diseases are caused by recessive genes. To get the disease, you have to get the bad gene from both parents. The greater the genetic similarity between your parents, the greater your chance of getting two copies of the bad gene."

The article was neither for or against it, it just presented arguments for both sides.
This presentation makes a lot of sense. I guess it just depends on how much risk we're willing to take with adoption, and what the comfort level is.
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