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I take my child to be my lawfully wedded spouse …
A New Yorker who wants to marry their own adult offspring is suing to overturn laws barring the incestuous practice, calling it a matter of “individual autonomy.”
The pining parent seeks to remain anonymous because their request is “an action that a large segment of society views as morally, socially and biologically repugnant,” according to court papers.
“Through the enduring bond of marriage, two persons, whatever relationship they might otherwise have with one another, can find a greater level of expression, intimacy and spirituality,” the parent argues in the Manhattan federal court claim filed April 1.
Legal papers give only the barest picture of the would-be newlyweds, failing to identify their gender, ages, hometowns or the nature of their relationship.
“The proposed spouses are adults,” the filing says. “The proposed spouses are biological parent and child. The proposed spouses are unable to procreate together.”
Incest is a third-degree felony under New York law, punishable by up to four years behind bars, and incestuous marriages are considered void, with the spouses facing a fine and up to six months in jail.
Marriage licenses in the five boroughs require potential spouses to list their birth parents and attest there are “no legal impediments to the marriage,” according to the City Clerk’s Office.
In 2014, a state appeals court unanimously approved a case involving a woman married to her mother’s half-brother, noting the genetic relationship was the equivalent of first cousins. But even that ruling cited “the almost universal horror” with which a parent-child marriage is viewed.
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The parent in the new case who hears wedding bells when looking at their own kid said they want to propose, but would “sustain emotional harm” if they did so while the current laws are in effect.
A New Yorker who wants to marry their own adult offspring is suing to overturn laws barring the incestuous practice, calling it a matter of "individual autonomy."
The parent wants to walk down the aisle in New York City, and is asking a judge to declare the laws unconstitutional and unenforceable in their case, which the lawsuit dubs “PAACNP” for “Parent and Adult Child Non-Procreationable” couples.
“Parent-and-adult-child couples for whom procreation is either virtually or literally impossible can aspire to the transcendent purposes of marriage and seek fulfillment in its highest meaning,” the forebear argues, claiming it would “diminish their humanity” if they were unable to tie the knot with the kid they conceived.
There are known cases of parents who are separated from their children in infancy, only to reunite decades later and become romantic, said NYU Law Professor Sylvia Law.
“I don’t think there’s a big popular movement, but I do think as long as we’ve kept records, there have been cases,” she told The Post, adding, “It’s an area where I think most people would say the government has a right to make the rules, even if they don’t apply to every situation.”
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Manhattan family and matrimonial law attorney Eric Wrubel said, “It’s never gonna fly.
“The closest you can come is Woody Allen, and that wasn’t his daughter, it was an adopted child whom he never adopted and it still turns people’s stomachs,” he said.
He also noted the pair in this recent case hasn’t actually sought a marriage license yet, and since they’ve not been denied any rights so far, the litigation is “premature.”
A lawyer for the amorous parent did not return repeated messages for comment. The city Law Department said it was not yet aware of the litigation.
To read more from The New York Post, click here.
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