If birth defects resulting from fusion failure in the midline have a common etiology, as previously hypothesized, persons with a family history of 1 type of midline defect should have an increased risk of dissimilar midline defects. The authors examined this hypothesis by linking information from the National Patient Register, the Causes of Death Register, and the Danish Family Relations Database for all Danish residents registered in the Civil Registration System during 1977-2005. Linkage yielded a cohort of 1.7 million persons with 1 or more relatives, including 9,063 persons with 1 or more midline defects. The authors investigated familial clustering of midline defects by estimating relative risks of similar and dissimilar midline defects according to family history of midline defects. Given a history of similar defects in first-degree relatives, relative risks for neural tube defects, conotruncal defects, oral facial clefts, anal/rectal defects, and diaphragmatic defects were 8.2 (95% confidence interval (CI): 3.1, 21.7), 7.7 (95% CI: 4.3, 13.8), 13.2 (95% CI: 10.8, 16.2), 10.3 (95% CI: 2.6, 41.1), and 11.2 (95% CI: 1.6, 79.7), respectively. However, given a dissimilar defect in a family member, the relative risk for any midline defect was null. Thus, similar defects but not dissimilar defects clustered in families, providing no evidence of a shared etiology for dissimilar midline defects.