Can Step-Siblings Get Married?

Are you also intrigued to know if step-siblings could get married? Have you ever thought about marrying your step-sister or step-brother? Do you want to know if it is legal or not? If yes, then you have stumbled upon the perfect article. This article will try to clear all the ambiguities affiliating to the relationship of step-siblings. Let’s check – Can Step-Siblings Get Married?

Can Step-Siblings Get Married?

To formulate an opinion on whether step-siblings can marry each other or not, you should be aware of the correct definitions of step-brother and step-sister or in general step-siblings. There have been many taboos that revolve around these words, which often make people believe that marrying step-siblings is unethical. However, the law states something else. The article is an attempt to help you formulate an informed opinion on the issue of step-siblings getting married. Read on to know more.

Step-siblings: Definition

Step-siblings are the siblings who belong to different families and have been tied up in this relationship by their parents. To make it more clear consider this instance: 

Your father got divorced from your mother. He is now about to start a new life with someone new. He is already with a woman and is planning to marry her. That woman has a daughter from his previous marriage. The daughter of the woman will become your step-sister, once your father and that woman get married. Similarly, you will be her step-brother.

To be more precise, step-siblings are not blood relatives, they are just individuals belonging to different families, connected by a relationship. Since step-siblings are not connected by blood, they are not biological siblings and hence are not considered real siblings. 


People often confuse between step-siblings and half-siblings. However, they are not the same. Half-siblings are those who are biologically related through one parent, it can be mother or father. Half-siblings are blood relatives as they are biologically related through one parent. To make it more clear consider this instance:

Your mother got married to another man after getting divorced from your father. Your mother gives birth to a girl with that man. This girl will be your half-sister. You are biologically related to the girl through your mother.

Differences between step-siblings and half-siblings

There exist differences between step-siblings and half-siblings. These differences are as follows:

  • Step-siblings are not blood relatives, they are not connected biologically by any means. On the other hand, half-siblings are partial blood relatives, they are biologically connected through one parent, either mother or father.
  • Step-siblings have different biological fathers or biological mothers, while half-siblings have the same biological father or biological mother.
  • Step-siblings are not considered real siblings while half-siblings are considered real siblings at times as they are half-blood relatives.

Can step-siblings marry each other?

We often hear cases, where step-siblings are attracted towards each other and intend to marry. However, it is not accepted by society that step-siblings can have an intimate relationship or being get married. But, before giving an opinion on the issue, you should be aware of whether it is accepted biologically or not. 

Step-siblings are not related by blood, they do not have the same genes or the same DNA. Even if they get involved in an intimate relationship or bear children together, they will not face any genetic diseases or any other health problems. Therefore, there is no harm in marrying your step-siblings.

However, taboo exists affiliating to step-siblings that they should not marry each other as they belong to the same family. Hence, step-siblings marrying each other is not considered acceptable by society and people often see it as unethical. 

Developing sensual feelings towards your step-siblings is possible as you are not related by blood. The relationship between step-siblings and real siblings is very different. Real siblings can never develop sensual feelings towards each other as they are biologically related. And even if they do, they cannot engage in intimate physical relations as this might lead to genetic problems in the kids they will bear. So, step-siblings can marry each other, even though society usually looks down upon such things and does not accept step-siblings marrying each other.

The legality of step-siblings marrying each other?

The ethicality of step-siblings marrying each other was elucidated upon in the previous paragraph. Now, the question arises that whether it is legal to marry your step-sibling or not. The answer to this is simple. Yes, the law permits step-siblings to get married to each other. 

There exist consanguinity law that forbids marriages in certain cases. These cases are as follows:

  • Biological siblings marrying each other.

Biological siblings are not permitted to get married in most countries around the world. The reason being the genetic problems it can give rise to.

  • Half-siblings marrying each other

Half-siblings are not allowed to marry each other because they are related by blood through one parent, either mother or father. Any relation between them can lead to similar problems as that in biological siblings getting married.

  • Aunts and nephews marrying each other

Aunts and nephews cannot marry each other according to the law. They are biologically related and are blood relatives. Blood relatives are not permitted to marry each other. 

  • Uncles and Niece

Similarly, uncle and niece cannot marry each other according to the law. They are blood relatives and a relationship as intimate as marriage is not permitted between them.

Since step-siblings are not blood relatives and are not related biologically in any way, they are permitted to marry each other according to the law. They belong to two different families and are produced by a different set of parents and hence do not have any biological connections, they can marry each other.

Marrying your half-sibling: legal?

Marrying your half-sibling is not legal as you are they are your blood relatives. Half-siblings share one common biological parent, which makes them ineligible of getting married. 

Since the law does not permit marriage between blood relatives, half-siblings cannot marry each other in most countries around the world. People often confuse step-siblings with half-siblings, but both are different and the legality of their marriage is also different.

You cannot marry your half-sibling. It is not permitted by the law. 

Why marrying your step-sibling considered unethical by society?

Whenever you tell someone that you are in love with your step-sister or step-brother, they will be surprised and despised at the same time. No one would like you marrying your step-brother or step-sister. They see you as a part of one family. However, even though you are a part of one family, you are not blood relatives. But society does not understand this.

The taboo in society relating to step-siblings marrying each other has been prevalent for ages. People were of the view that marrying within their own family and marrying their relatives is unethical. They were correct to some extent as marrying within the family and amongst your blood relatives can lead to genetic problems and health issues in the future generation. So, marriages within the family were not permitted.

However, society needs to understand that step-siblings are not blood relatives as they are united by two different families and have a different set of biological parents. Step-siblings marrying each other will not lead to any genetic problems in the future, thus this should be permitted. 

Not developing sensual feelings for your sibling

Why do we not develop sensual feelings for our real siblings? This is a common question whenever we talk about step-siblings’ relationships. Unlike step-siblings, real siblings are biologically related, they have the same biological parents. They have been living together from the very beginning and they do not feel attracted to each other. They are less likely to develop sensual feelings towards each other, no matter how attractive their sibling is. There are moral implications attributed to real siblings marrying each other. It is not acceptable by society to see real siblings marrying each other.

Moreover, it has health implications as having an intimate relationship with your real siblings might give rise to inherited genetic diseases in the future generation. This is the reason why relationships as intimate as marriage are not morally permissible when it comes to blood relatives.

An instance of step-siblings marrying each other

There are many instances you can come across when you serve Reddit, where people pour out their feelings. One instance involving step-siblings marrying each other is worth sharing and will compel you to ponder upon this question. 

There was a man who had proposed to his girlfriend. All the invitation cards for the wedding were being printed and distributed. The man was not on talking terms with his mother for about a year. But one day, the man gets a call from his mother asking him to call off his wedding. When he asked about the reason behind this, he was awestruck. The mother told him that the girl he is willing to marry is the daughter of her boyfriend. Boom! the son got to know that his mother, whom he was not on talking terms with was dating his fiance’s father. The son had never sent an invitation card to the mother. She had seen it in her boyfriend’s house and after seeing the son’s name on the card, she called him. The fiance’s father had met the man many times but never got to know that her daughter’s boyfriend’s mother is his girlfriend. Because the mother has had five marriages before and the man was from her second husband.

Knowing all this, the mother asked the son to call off his marriage as she was willing to marry his fiance’s father. And that they would become step-siblings, hence it would not be morally impermissible for them to get married. 

The son is now confused about what should he do. This situation makes us ponder upon the relationship between step-siblings, whether they should be permitted to get married or not.

An argument in the favor of the step-sibling marrying each other could be that they are not blood relatives. They can marry each other according to the laws. Moreover, in the above-mentioned incident, the couple was oblivion of the relationship of their parents. They did not know that their parents were in a relationship with each other. Now, that they know this, it should not be fair for them to call off their wedding. They love each other, and they should marry each other. Their parent’s relationship should not become a hurdle in their life. 

How does it feel to be in a romantic relationship with your step-sister or step-brother?

Being in a romantic relationship with your step-sister or step-brother might sound and feel weird. People of your own family might question your choice. Society will not be acceptable and welcoming. You might not be able to confront your friends. But if you are really in love with someone, you cannot deny it.

If your love is worth taking the risk, you should go for it. There are instances when people have been happy being in a relationship with their step-siblings. They feel weird initially as they are in a way, a part of the same family. But things get easier as time passes by. And anyway, they are not blood relatives. They can develop feelings and can get involved in intimate physical relationships. 

It feels good being in a relationship with someone you love. So, if you love your step-sibling and want a future with him/her, you should go ahead with it. All the things will eventually fall into place.


Marrying your step-sibling is a step that has allured the attention of the public. Society considers it morally impermissible. This opinion of society is because conventionally, marrying relatives can become a cause of inherent genetic diseases in the future generation. However, this is nothing but a misconception. Step-siblings are not your blood relatives. Marrying them would not have any effect on your future generation. Society would not accept it because of the conventional views on this issue, but the law permits it. 

Even the law says that only blood relatives are prohibited to get married. Since step-siblings are not blood relatives, they can marry each other. And this will not be the cause of any genetic disease in the future generation. The law permits the marriage of step-siblings for some reason.  

The article tried to give you information on what step-siblings mean and what are the other terms that sound similar but are not in actual life. Society perceives step-siblings as real siblings but they are not. They do not have the same set of biological parents. All this information is intended to make you competent enough to make an informed choice while formulating any opinion.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between step-siblings and half-siblings?

These two terms often confuse people. However, there is a huge difference between step-siblings and half-siblings. Step-siblings are individuals belonging to different families, having a different set of parents, connected by the relationship between their parents. They are not blood relatives. While on the other side, half-siblings are the ones having one common biological parent, it can be a mother or father. They are blood relatives as they have one common parent and are thus related by blood. 

Is it legal for step-siblings to get married?

Yes, it is legal for step-siblings to get married. The law does not permit the marriage of blood relatives. The reason being the genetic diseases it can give rise to. Since step-siblings are not blood relatives, they are permitted to get married under the law. Even if the society does not back step-siblings marrying each other, the law does.

Is marrying your step-sibling morally permissible?

The conventional view of society is that marrying your step-sibling is a sin. People do not welcome the notion of step-siblings marrying each other. They consider it as morally impermissible. However, the view that was prevalent in the past, that one should not marry within the family was because of the genetic diseases that can arise in future generations as a consequence of intermingling of the same genes and DNA. 

But step-siblings are not blood relatives. They do not have the same set of biological parents, they are just connected through the relationship of their parents. Thus, marriage between step-siblings is morally permissible.

Is it legal to marry your half-sibling?

Half-siblings are your blood relatives. You both share a common biological parent and thus have similar genes. You are not permitted to marry each other as you come under the ambit of blood relatives as per law. The law does not permit blood relatives to marry each other.

How should I convince my parents to let me marry my step-sister?

Convincing your parents is the toughest job. However, you can use the arguments that would favor you. You should tell them that marrying your step-sister will not have any ill effect on your future generation as you both are not blood relatives. You can convince them by showing how much you are in love with her. You can convince them by arguing that even the law permits this and that your marriage would be legal.