After a DNA Test 10 Years Into Their Marriage, a Couple with Three Children Discovers They Are Cousins: ‘I Was Taken Aback’

A married couple with three children discovered through a DNA test that they were cousins after researching their family tree.

Celina Quinones, a Colorado-based real estate agent, shared the news in a TikTok video that has been viewed over 4.4 million times since it was posted in March, with varied reactions so far.

“There are numerous negative comments; it’s awful,” Celina tells PEOPLE. People continue to query, “Why would you do that? Why are you posting this?’ But I view everything with skepticism. As a realtor, I’m used to being constantly harassed, so I think, “Oh, it’s nothing.”

In July 2006, after only a few months of dating, Celina married Joseph Quinones. Despite their families having met at the time, nobody suspected they were related.

“We eventually had our wedding, and even then, our grandmothers appeared to be similar and got along, but nothing clicked,” she recalls.

Joseph adds, “We did not consider it. She was never present at family gatherings, funerals, or nuptials.

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Ten years into their marriage, Celina began stitching together a family tree and took a DNA test through MyHeritage, which led to the discovery.

“I ordered the DNA tests,” Celina says. “They arrived, and as expected, we completed our samples, placed them in the mail, and sent them on their way. Then, when we received the results, I searched the family tree DNA — another aspect of the search — and found him. And I go, ‘Oh no.'”

Celina confesses she began to question whether she and Joseph should be together after reading the results.

“I was stunned. I was honestly a little despondent about it. But this occurred after we already had three healthy children,” Celina says of the couple’s 15- and 13-year-old sons and 10-year-old daughter. “They have 10 fingers and 10 toes, but it still came as a surprise.”

“Joseph said to the babe, ‘Don’t stress about it, babe. It is not a major issue. Simply wipe it off. I was like, ‘Should we get a divorce? Are we meant to even be together?’ I began to reconsider, but after some time I concluded, “Nope, we’re staying together.” There is nothing that can be done. I will not allow blood to come between us.”

Celina, who authored a memoir titled The Dream Catcher’s Keeper, does not know how close she and her spouse are related. According to the DNA tests, they are between second and seventh cousins, so the closest relative they could potentially share is a great-grandparent.

Celina explains that she halted her family tree research after discovering the consanguinity, but she hopes to ultimately uncover the ancestry that links her and Joseph.

Celina explains that, in the moment, she believed it would be “funny” to announce the unexpected news on TikTok.

She states, “I didn’t think anything of it.” I did not expect it to go viral to this extent.

However, she is happy she did it.

She states, “I feel a little more liberated.” What it is is what it is. There are people who love no matter what or who, so why can’t I accidentally fall in love with my cousin?

Rubal is a dynamic and talented entertainment writer, passionate about all things pop culture. From celebrity gossip to film and television reviews, his writing is always engaging and informative. In addition to his work as an entertainment writer, he is a fitness freak and an optimistic guy. You can find him working out at the gym and listening to his favorite songs when he's not busy writing.
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