Denmark: Immigrant inbreeding costing millions

Denmark: Immigrant inbreeding costing millions
When cousins have children together, they are twice as likely to have a disabled child, which is expensive for the municipals.

Disabled immigrant children cost Danish municipalities millions, a report from BT says.

In Copenhagen County alone, the number of disabled children has increases 100 percent in 10 years.

The explanations are many:

More women give birth in old age.

More disabled children survive.

But it also turns out that immigrants give birth to more disabled children than Danes do.

A major reason is due to the many cousin-marriages among immigrants.

The risk of having a disabled child in a cousin-marriage is twice as large as if the child is born in an ordinary marriage.

Therefore the Integration Ministry and the Ministry of Health have a sent out information to warn about cousin-marriages and to explain the health risks.

It is exclusively aimed at immigrants and sent out to 97 Turkish associations, 75 integration counsels, 35 Pakistani associations and 275 municipalities.

Already in 2000 it was clear that while 13 per cent of all children were immigrants in Copenhagen Municipality, they accounted for 24 per cent of severely disabled children.

- We can not say exactly to what extent it is related to cousin-marriages. But we know that it is twice as likely to have a disabled child if one is closely related than if you're not, says Karen Brøndum-Nielsen, professor and department chief at the Kennedy Institute, a scientists in genetics.

She explains that one do not register people based on ethnicity because it considered discriminatory.

The heavy resource burden is something that affects the budgets of both county and municipality.

Eg. the City of Copenhagen's family and labor management, where one see a clear over-representation of disabled children of immigrants, the budget is overrun by 43 million DKK.

The initial budget was a staggering DKK 1.2 billion.

One reason for the significant increase is believed to be the many cousin-marriages, which is a tradition among many Muslims.

- No one knows for sure why the number of disabled children is increasing, but the diagnosis is that cousin-marriages play a role for the children, says Karen Brøndum-Nielsen.

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