Quarter of Rotterdam Turks Marry Relatives
Almost one quarter of Turkish and Moroccan parents in Rotterdam are married to a relative. The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) writes this in a study commissioned by the Health Ministry.
Marriages between nephew and niece, second cousins and uncles and nieces pose an increased risk of rare genetic abnormalities in their children. Education and genetic research is needed to bring down the number of disorders, according to RIVM.
For an indication of the number of blood-related marriages, RIVM requested data from Generation R, a long-standing scientific population screening study in Rotterdam. The study follows the lives of ten thousand newly borns for a long period.
Of the 653 Turkish parents who partake in the study, 24 percent stated they were married to a relative. Among the 474 Moroccan parents, the number was 22 percent.
Marriage between relatives is not forbidden in the Netherlands. RIVM wishes to keep it that way, but does feel that blood-related marriages should be considered as a risk factor for congenital defects, just like late motherhood. The institute therefore advocates screening and prenatal testing.
1) Quarter of Rotterdam Turks Marry Relatives