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'I'm in love with my cousin. What do I do?'

By BṺM TENORIO JR., The Philippine STAR Published May 22, 2022 2:22 pm

Each week, PhilSTAR L!fe addresses a reader's concern about relationships, career, and anything they want to talk about through its advice column: Asking for a Friend.

Dear L!fe friend, 

Hello. I was curious when I saw your post about loving someone you shouldn't. I'm sending you this email po to ask if tama ba na magustuhan ko ang pinsan ko. Lalaki po sya and I'm three years older than him. It's been eight years na po since nagustuhan ko s’ya and I can't even confront him kasi po magpinsan kami and I'm currently staying in their home. Ititigil ko na po ba tong nararamdaman ko or dapat muna akong umamin sa kanya para walang regrets? 

— Forbidden Lover 

Dear Forbidden Lover,

The answer is already in your sobriquet—forbidden.

Hold your horses before things get awry. Not to play holier than thou, but you should stop all the start triggers now. It’s both legally and medically not feasible.

Though love is free, it is also a responsibility—and each responsibility comes not without moral obligation. Sure, amorous affairs know no creed, but this affair will be consummated later on. And before you get there, please take heed.

I know I’m jumping the gun too much here but it’s better to let you know of these facts now before you begin to embark on something that will have legal impediments and health concerns.

Medical experts say there’s something with the combination of chromosomes between two cousins that make it impossible to have normal childbearing or childbirth. 

According to Dr. Jasmine Alimagno Enriquez, an OB-Gynecologist, “Childbearing is many times impossible if the union is between two cousins. Much more between siblings. Pregnancy is difficult to achieve if parents have the same DNA components. Infertility and miscarriage are results of inbreeding.” 

“The risk of a child developing an autosomal recessive disorder increases with inbreeding. Carriers of a recessive disorder may be unaware that they possess a mutated gene because two copies of a recessive allele are needed for gene expression,” Dr. Jasmine explains. 

“Simply said, yung DNA kasi ng cousins ay halos parehong-pareho and that causes the chromosomal abnormalities. Dapat may ibang (chromosome),” she adds. 

Many children of parents who are cousins are born with cleft palate, heart conditions, low birth weight and neonatal mortality, the lady doctor says.

Though love is free, it is also a responsibility—and each responsibility comes not without moral obligation.

According to Article 1, Section 38 of the Family Code, it is not legal for cousins to get married. 

“Any marital relations between cousins and relatives within the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity will be void,” says lawyer Jennifer Jimeno-Atienza. 

Article 1, Section 38 of the Family Code says the following marriages shall be void from the beginning for reasons of public policy: 

(1) Between collateral blood relatives whether legitimate or illegitimate, up to the fourth civil degree;

(2) Between step-parents and step-children;

(3) Between parents-in-law and children-in-law;

(4) Between the adopting parent and the adopted child;

(5) Between the surviving spouse of the adopting parent and the adopted child;

(6) Between the surviving spouse of the adopted child and the adopter;

(7) Between an adopted child and a legitimate child of the adopter;

(8) Between adopted children of the same adopter; and

(9) Between parties where one, with the intention to marry the other, killed that other person's spouse, or his or her own spouse. 

There. I overdid it. Just so you will recalibrate your moves. Love is a responsibility.

Your L!fe friend,

Büm

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