Genetic Disorders Expert Forum
first cousins
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Questions in the Genetics Forum are being answered by medical professionals and experts. This forum is for questions and support regarding a person’s predisposition to a variety of medical conditions such as Ashkenazi Jewish Diseases, Bleeding Disorders, Blood Clotting Disorders, Cancer Genetics and Hereditary Cancer Syndromes, Chromosome Abnormalities, Congenital Birth Defects, Cystic Fibrosis, Family History, Fragile X Syndrome, Infertility, Newborn Screening, Rare Genetic Disorders, Prenatal Screening and Testing.

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first cousins

Hi, I'm about to marry my boyfriend who is my first cousin, and eventually we want to have children. We will go to genetic counseling, but I want to have an idea of what we can expect. What kind of tests we have to perform before having children?, what things can suggest that is better if we don't have children? I will appreciate if you recomend us a genetic agency or something like that in NY.

Thank you very much
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Genetic counseling is a great idea to put your risks in context. Everyone has the risk of having children with problems, but because cousins share the same close ancestors, it is slightly more likely that they might share a disease gene.

The background risk that every couple faces of having children with birth defects is about 2-3%. First cousins in general may have an additional 2-3% risk on top of this. Genetic counseling will help define this for you personally based on your family history and ethnic background.

There are no special tests for cousin couples. The same tests a genetic counselor would discuss with any couple thinking about having children based on family history and ethnicity is what you should expect.

You can find a genetic counselor in your area through the National Society of Genetic Counselors.
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That is absolutely wrong.  To think that 2 people would want to bring a helpless child into this world knowing that there is at least a 4-6% chance of birth defects. My suggestion is, don't even take the chance.  Get tied and adopt or find 1 or the billion others out there to have intercourse with that you are not related to.
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especially be carefull if you have heart disease or cancer or other "bad genes" that run in your family because then you increase the chances of your son or daughter getting double that gene and making an increase of a very bad situation.
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