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Genetic Tests for Couples: Tajikistan imposes genetic tests for future married couples

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06.02.2016
ua_today
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A bill was passed last month forbidding first cousins from getting married

Tajik lawmakers are imposing genetic tests for future married couples. This comes after doctors warned that marriages between close relatives are a common cause of birth defects in the central-Asian nation. Tajik families with disabled children receive treatment and support at a center in Dushanbe. Government officials believe they can reduce the number of disabilities long before problems appear.

Maysara Sharipova, Director of Centre for Treatment of Disabled Children: "Marriages between blood relatives in some cases cause physical and mental disabilities in children, such as Down's Syndrome and autism."

With the new law genetic testing will be required to ensure engaged couples are not related. Dushanbe residents have commented the changes.

- This is probably nonsense. I think it's too much.

- Lawmakers saw the need for such a law. They know better.

A bill was passed last month forbidding first cousins from getting married. According to Radio Free Europe couples planning to marry must also be declared free of sexually-transmitted diseases. Some lawmakers may also go further and consider an amendment stating that a woman's virginity must be confirmed by a doctor before marriage.

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