Finding love can be really difficult. Finding love in areas where there just isn't a large population can be even more tricky, which is why there's often a running joke in states that have multiple rural areas that some individuals "probably married their cousin". While it may be a joke to explain away someone's oddities, the statement itself can actually be true in a lot of places. But is it illegal to actually marry your cousin in Maine?


You CANNOT legally marry your first cousin in Maine unless...

According to, marrying your first cousin in Maine is prohibited in almost all cases. There is a small exception to the law. In order for a marriage between two first cousins to be recognized in Maine, the two individuals must obtain a certificate from a physician that states they have received genetic counseling. Even then, the State of Maine reserves the right to deny a marriage certificate.

Bride and groom separated by future doubts and possible problems

Can you legally marry your first cousin in other states?

Yes. 18 states in the country have little or no laws on the books that prohibit marriage between two first cousins. New Hampshire is the only state in New England that strictly prohibits first cousins from marrying, with Maine allowing it under provisions.

A mans hands in handcuffs behind his back

Could you marry your first cousin in another state and then return to Maine?

Yes but your marriage would not be recognized in Maine. In fact, if you attempted to circumvent Maine law on marrying your first cousin and the state becomes aware, individuals involved could be privy to arrest or fines.

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