How exactly did we get to this article becoming an article? One simple sentence from a friend who recently filed for a marriage license to become legally hitched with her partner (who isn't her first cousin, for the record).

Did you know you can marry your first cousin in Maine?

More on that in a second.

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash / Photo by Deena Englard on Unsplash
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash / Photo by Deena Englard on Unsplash

Third Cousin Marriage

For what seems like ever, the stereotypical "rule of thumb" has always been that any type of relationship involving a third cousin is accepted, due to their being enough separation in the bloodline. Again, not factual information, just the word of mouth rule of thumb spread over the years.

In fact, according to Genealogy Explained:

Third cousins sometimes find themselves asking the question of whether they can marry. It is generally legal for third cousins to marry in most jurisdictions, and the genetic overlap between third cousins is minimal, reducing concerns related to genetic issues that might arise in offspring.

Maine First Cousins

A friend filing for their marriage certificate in Maine was mentioned above, and not on their bingo card was the statement and question on line 36 of the State of Maine Department of Health and Human Services Intention of Marriage Application (VS2-A):

First cousins are required by law to obtain a certificate of genetic counseling by a physician. Are you first cousins?

If for whatever reason you need more information on exactly which family marriages are illegal, legal, or legal only with an exception to the rule (like the genetic counseling certificate mentioned above), you can access that information under Title 19-A: Domestic Relations on the website.

(Insert a "The More You Know" GIF/meme from the old school NBC days here, or, better yet:)

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