Georgina (infernallysly) wrote in little_details,
Georgina
infernallysly
little_details

Marrying your adoptive sibling in the UK; attitudes to this in the 1920s

Hi everyone,

The story I'm planning is set in the UK in the 1920s (probably 1925, not exactly sure yet). Would it be legal for adoptive siblings to marry each other then? I can’t even find a definitive answer on whether it’s legal today.

Either way, does anyone know what attitudes people would have had towards a relationship between adoptive siblings? I realise said attitudes would depend largely on the character, but would they be similar to today, generally more supportive or generally more negative? Would the couple want to hide their relationship? If it helps the family is upper middle class and the girl was adopted when she was ten.

Have tried googling "adoptive siblings marriage UK" "legal marry adoptive sibling UK" "marriage laws UK" and several variations thereof. I've found contradictory responses, mostly on yahoo answers/wiki answers which are anecdotal or don't cite sources.

Looked at wikipedia pages on "consanguinity", "marriage laws", "prohibited degree of kinship", "siblings" - found nothing useful.

While I’m here, if anyone has any useful links about 1920s England in general (fashion, society, everyday technology) they would be gratefully received. I’m trying to read up as much as possible.

Thanks in advance :)

ETA: I have just found this:

http://www.sussex.ac.uk/history/documents/3._keating_struggle_for_identity.pdf

which says at the beginning:

Until the 1920s, adoption in England was an informal arrangement. Eighteenth and nineteenth century novels frequently feature stories of orphans, benefactors and guardians but in fact, apart from rare wardship and guardianship proceedings which only the rich could afford, the only adopted children with any legal status prior to 1926 were those placed for adoption under the 1899 Poor Law Act by the Boards of Guardians. Other children living as family with people who were not their parents remained the legal responsibility of their natural parents.

...but it doesn't say anything else about the formal adoption procedure pre-1926. Any help on that would also be appreciated.
Tags: 1920-1929, uk: history (misc), ~adoption, ~weddings
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