Did reality TV dad Jim Bob Duggar stumble on a slippery slope? The father of "19 Kids and Counting" claims he doesn't arrange the marriages of his children. But it's clear that he must approve them. The "Counting On" patriarch denies that he selects mates, however, his blessing (a.k.a. permission) is required. Is that the same thing? Are Anna and Josh Duggar, Derick and Jill Dillard, Ben and Jessa Seewald and Jeremy and Jinger Vuolo married on dad's approval? Is Jana Duggar still single because Jim Bob disallowed all potential suitors?

Duggar kids 'Counting On' arranged marriages?

So Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar may not be matchmakers as such.

But reality TV fans have seen that the father at least must be asked before courtship can happen. Would-be suitors run a kind of gauntlet, approaching dad to ask for the hand of their chosen. Ben Seewald and Jeremy Vuolo expressed nervousness over the encounter. Jonathan Hartono made the mistake of posting a "1 on 1" photo of himself on Instagram with Jim Bob. That prompted fans to suspect that he was asking to marry Jana Duggar.

Duggar suitors ask for permission or blessing?

Is this courting of the father's favor just a sign of Old Testament Biblical respect? "Fiddler on the Roof" shows that Tevye certainly didn't choose any of his sons-in-law. But he did extend blessings to some. Is the "Counting On" family's involvement in courtship similar to the "Godfather"? Does Don Duggar judge who is and isn't compatible? Despite their young ages, Austin Forsyth and Joy-Anna Duggar were deemed old enough to wed.

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And what about girls who wish to marry "19 Kids and Counting" sons? Did Anna Duggar have to pass some sort of test to claim Josh?

Dad denies all requests for Jana Duggar?

Reality television fans have long wondered about eldest, umarried Jana Duggar. They have speculated that Jim Bob has purposely denied his blessing/approval to all her suitors. Jonathan Hartono said he never wanted to date Jana. But might he say that if he had been rejected by her father? Kathy Jo Bates of "Bringing Up Bates" recently quelled rumors that her son Lawson Bates was courting Jana Duggar. Her other son Zach Bates was also cast as a suitor. Did neither brother come up to snuff with the "Counting On" dad? What about the favorite Tim Tebow? Did he try for Jana's hand and fail? Does Michelle Duggar like having her eldest daughter home to help with the raising of the other "19 Kids and Counting"?