Can you marry your adopted child?(Yes or No?)

In this article, we will answer the following question: Can you marry your adopted child? We will also talk about the reasons why children can fall in love with their parents, and who cannot get married according to the Marriage Act. 

Can you marry your adopted child?

You can not marry your adopted child. In the eyes of the law, an adopted child is treated the same as a natural heir.

A further consideration is that it should become fully legal, when the adoption is overturned by a later adoption or revocation, as in that case the family ties created by the (first) adoption will have been destroyed, so they can not prevent you creating new ones.  

Some people also like to know if they can marry their parents.

According to the Marriage (Prohibited Degrees of Relationship) Act 1986, the law prohibits certain blood relatives, step-relatives and relatives-in-law from getting married or registering as civil partners. Unless they fall within the exception below a person cannot marry or become civil partners with their:

  • Child
  • The adoptive or former adoptive child
  • Child of a former spouse or civil partner
  • Parent
  • Adoptive or former adoptive parent
  • A former spouse or civil partner of the parent
  • Parent’s sibling
  • Sibling or sibling’s child
  • Grandparent
  • A former spouse or civil partner or grandparent
  • Grandchild
  • A grandchild of a former spouse or civil partner.

Exceptions

For the people mentioned in 3, 6, 10 and 12, there are some exceptions. They can marry if both parties are over 16 years of age, or register as civil partners if both parties are over 21 years of age, and the younger person was never a child in the older person’s family before they reached age 18.

“Child of the family”, concerning another person, means a person who:

  1. has lived in the same household as that other person and
  2. has been treated by that other person as a child of their family.

Who cannot get married?

There are four types of kinship impediments to getting married: that of consanguinity, of affinity (these two are the typical ones), that of public honesty (referring to invalid marriages or conspicuous concubinates that was considered as an illicit affinity relationship in the documents) and the legal one (that comes from the adoption), where it is forbidden to marry the adoptive parents or adoptive siblings.

The most common and that one always sees in these Marital Acts are the impediments due to kinship of consanguinity and affinity. 

Those of consanguinity are explained practically alone and it is related to the fact that the couple descended from one or more common ancestors. 

The second, of affinity, refers to the fact that one of the bride and groom had some legitimate or illegitimate relationship with a blood relative of the other groom, it appears written as “impediment of legal affinity” or “impediment of illicit affinity”. 

For example, if the groom wants to contract a second marriage with his first wife’s sister, they will have a lawful affinity relationship between the two, but if the groom had sexual relations with the bride’s sister (no marriage involved) they will have an illicit affinity kinship, which is the one of public honesty raised before. 

On the other hand, it was not and is not allowed to marry between descendants of the same straight line, that is, between parents and children or grandparents with grandchildren. Neither was it possible to marry by cross or collateral line between siblings or half-siblings. 

The transversal means that it is “towards the side”, first cousins, second cousins, etc. In other words, it is descended from different lines (not straight) from the common ancestor or ancestors. This means that all the relationships that we find in the marriage acts are transversal or collateral.

The handwritten documents have different levels of information, some priests were super clear, since apart from including the family link with the technical language that is dealt with, they even made drawings of family trees, naming the ancestors until they reached the common ancestor.

When children fall in love with parents

During childhood, certain emotional attitudes towards parents may correspond to the so-called Oedipus and Electra complexes, common in the stage of affective development of children.

It may sound crazy, but it is real: we can fall in love and have a sexual attraction to our parents. They are the Oedipus and Electra complexes and they manifest themselves, above all, during childhood.

According to Greek mythology, the Delphic oracle had warned Laius, king of Thebes, that his own son would kill him. To avoid the prophecy, the king abandoned him to his fate. The boy was later found and adopted. Growing up, and without knowing who his father was, Oedipus killed him in a fight and fell in love with his mother.

The Oedipus complex presents itself from the child to the mother; the Electra complex, from the girl to the father. The explanation given by the science to this type of behaviour has to do with the identification that children have with the fatherly figure (in boys) and maternal figure (in girls). Imitation leads to feelings of admiration that can be mistaken for love.

Sigmund Freud went much further. He emphasized that certain behaviours promoted by these complexes could make the child want to maintain an incestuous sexual relationship with his parent of the opposite sex, coming to have parricidal ideas with the other, father or mother, in each case.

Parental responsibility

As it is a mere imitation of the parents’ behaviours, it is the responsibility of the parents to have a loving and sexual reference outside the parental limits. They should also help overcome the trauma caused by the child going through these complexes and be able to stop the feelings of hatred that may appear when love is not reciprocated.

As parents, you are 100% responsible for the well-being of your children, and if you detect these behaviours, it is best to go to a professional who guides you to support the child at this stage.

The father or mother who is in the opposite situation should not feel jealousy, it is a normal phase that will be overcome with patience. Parents should continue to act normally. This means that under no circumstances should they be bothered because the child shows rejection or annoyance.

It is not convenient that the figure that you idealize, be it your mom or dad, to always show up as the good guy. Parents must show that they are united in making or correcting rules.

Remember to parents that you are the adults and your children must feel your full support!

Some parents abuse their child to exercise control over them.

If you’re a father who is worried that you had intimate relations with your daughter, you shouldn’t be looking for justifications to hide this highly unacceptable act but look for ways to make up.

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Conclusions

In this article, we answered the following question: Can you marry your adopted child? We also talked about the reasons why children can fall in love with their parents, and who cannot get married according to the Marriage Act. 

We remind you that, you can not marry your adopted child. In the eyes of the law, an adopted child is treated the same as a natural heir.

A further consideration is that it should become fully legal when the adoption is overturned by a later adoption or revocation, as in that case the family ties created by the (first) adoption will have been destroyed, so they can not prevent you creating new ones.  

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

FAQ on Can you marry your adopted child?

Is it legal to marry your stepdaughter?

It is not legal to marry your stepdaughter. The law prohibits any marriage if the persons are related lineally, if not blood-related.

Can you marry your adopted sister?

No, you cannot marry your adopted sister. The law prohibits certain blood relatives, step-relatives and relatives-in-law from getting married or registering as civil partners. 

Is it OK to date your adopted cousin?

You can date your adopted cousin if you are both adults and you understand the moral consequences of your relationship. Since you are not blood-related, the law does not prohibit it.

Can I marry Mom?

No, legally you cannot marry your mother, father or grandfather. According to the Marriage (Prohibited Degrees of Relationship) Act 1986, the law prohibits certain blood relatives, step-relatives and relatives-in-law from getting married or registering as civil partners. 

What does the Bible say about marrying your cousin?

The Bible does not say anything about marrying your cousin. However, it is mentioned that sexual relations with several other close relatives are prohibited. 

Is it illegal to sleep with your cousin?

In most countries, yes it is illegal to sleep with your cousin, parent, grandparent, sibling.

What we recommend for Relationship & LGBTQ issues

Relationship counselling

  • If you are having relationship issues or maybe you are in an abusive relationship then relationship counselling could be your first point of call. Relationship counselling could be undertaken by just you, it does not require more than one person.

LGBTQ issues

If you are dealing with LGBTQ issues then LGBTQ counselling may be a great option for you. Maybe you are confused as to your role and identity or simply need someone to speak to. LGBTQ counsellors are specially trained to assist you in this regard.

References

Legislation.gov.uk – Marriage (Prohibited Degrees of Relationship) Act 1986

Genetic-genealogy.co.uk   -FORBIDDEN MARRIAGE LAWS OF THE UNITED KINGDOM

Familytreeforum.com -Forbidden Marriages

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