Marrying an adopted relative: is it possible?


good day.

my name is ann, 20, and a college student from the philiipines.

a month ago, i broke up with my boyfriend of one year because i found out that he has a relationship with another for two years now. my problem could have been simple if this was just the case but my ex-boyfriend is an adopted son of my maternal grandfather’s brother, making him my uncle. both of us were aware of this so we kept our relationship a secret from our family. i had been intimate with him until my grandparents found out. this eventually lead to our break up and me finding out about the other woman.

the adopting father of my ex-boyfriend sent him to california because according to him, our relationship was shameful.

now, my question is: it it really a sin to have had a relationship with him? i know that having pre-marital sex is a sin that’s why im preparing myself for confession but i want to know if marrying him is against the law of the Catholic Church. because if it’s not, im going to pray for him no matter how insane this might sound.

so please tell me so that i can decide on whether to let him go or to keep on praying for us to be together again and eventually to get married to the catholic church.

thank you.



There is a possibility, but it would require a dispensation.

Generally, you determine if it is a relationship of consanguinity or affinity. Your case appears to be a relationship of consanguinity, although your uncle being adopted, is not really ‘blood’ kin.

Count the number of links between the persons. Setting aside his adoption for the moment, if I understand correctly, the first link is from you to your mother, the second is from your mother to her father, third is to his brother and fourth to his son.

I believe that marriage in the Church is possible, with dispensation, for relationship in the fourth degree. Further, I would say that since he is adopted, there is no ‘blood’ relationship between you, which has the potential to ease any dispensation granted.

My question would be more focused on his relationship with the other woman.


Talk to your priest about this. He can guide you.


Now I have a question: wouldn’t the person in question be related as a first cousin once removed, and not as an uncle? I mean, if I’m understanding the relations correctly, this man would be your mother’s cousin, right? Or am I misunderstanding something? :confused:


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