January 11, 2023
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Is it Illegal to do a DNA Test Without Consent?

Is it Illegal to do a DNA Test Without Consent? Here are the facts that you need to know:
Tomohiro Takano

Is it Illegal to do a DNA Test Without Consent?

Tens of thousands of people are participating in the DNA-searching journey. The majority of people agree that learning about ancestry, heritage, and culture can do great things to increase self-awareness and perspectives.

You undoubtedly have heard of innocent people providing their samples where the DNA results incriminated family members. Some people even learned they have an entire secret family from infidelity.

This can cause people to ask the question: Is it illegal to do a DNA test without consent?

Here are the facts:

What is DNA Testing?

DNA testing provides information about where you came from, who you are related to—both living and dead—and who your ancestors were. DNA testing simply tests your unique ‘fingerprint’ identifier and compares the results—called DNA matching.

DNA samples can be taken in the following forms:

·   Urine

·   Blood

·   Hair

·   Spit

·   Semen

DNA testing can be conducted at home where you send your sample to the lab. You first receive a customized code to your identity where you can later view your results online using an online profile.

What Can DNA Results Be Used For?

There are dozens of ways your DNA results can be used.

Risk factors

Your unique DNA specimen identifies your personal genes and those with who you are related. Risk factors for genetic medical conditions can be identified through your DNA sample.

Migration of your family throughout generations

As generations passed, the bloodline remained in your DNA. You can be linked back several generations to people who lived in the past. The migration of your family and where they started to where you are today can be revealed through DNA.

Vital information for pets

If you are conducting a DNA test for your best, there are several factors you’ll learn. You can obtain information on their specific breed or mix as well as preexisting health factors.

Father of child

DNA test results can also provide pertinent information from a paternity test. The DNA test typically involves a cheek swab sample of spit to properly identify the father of a child.

How Accurate are DNA Test Results?

Although nothing in this world is 100%, DNA results are quite close. The results of ancestry DNA tests, paternity tests, and to identify possible future health conditions is 99.99%.

There are rare occasions that DNA tests come back with non-factual information. Results can also come back inconclusive. It can depend on the amount of information the specific DNA-testing company has access to effectively DNA match to other DNA samples.

Is it Illegal to do a DNA Test Without Consent?

In short, YES, it is illegal. DNA testing without proper consent beforehand is a violation of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act—or GINA. This act was designed to protect people from being discriminated against based on the results of a DNA test.

Therefore, if you somehow obtain DNA from a person, you cannot legally use it to make a decision about that person. You could be held liable for a crime.

Tomohiro Takano
Tomohiro Takano
Co-Founder and CEO