Why is consent needed for DNA testing?
Why is consent needed for DNA testing?
If you choose to proceed with a DNA test, it is important to understand the law surrounding consent for DNA testing.
It is a legal requirement that all parties taking part in a DNA test agree to the test and provide consent for their DNA samples to be analysed.
It is illegal to perform a DNA test without appropriate consent.
When DNA testing children under 16 years of age, consent must be provided on their behalf by a parent or guardian with guardianship for the child.
If the DNA test requires that a DNA sample be collected from a deceased individual (e.g. for inheritance disputes), a person with a qualifying relationship to the deceased (e.g. spouse, partner, child) must provide consent for the deceased’s sample to be tested.
What consent do I need for a DNA test?
Below is an overview of the requirements for consent, depending on who is taking part in the DNA test.
- Any person aged 18 or over – must provide their own consent for their DNA samples to be used in testing
- For children under the age of 18 – parental consent can be provided by a parent or guardian with guardianship for the child. However, children aged 16-17 can also provide their own consent, provided they are competent to do so
- When testing DNA of deceased individuals – consent must be provided by a person with a qualifying relationship to the deceased (e.g. spouse, partner, child)
Can I do a DNA test without someone knowing?
It is a legal requirement that an adult submitting a DNA sample for the purpose of testing must provide their own consent for their DNA sample to be analysed.
This applies for both peace of mind at-home DNA tests and legal DNA tests for official matters.
- When testing a child under 18 years of age – in these circumstances, a parent or guardian with guardianship for the child can provide consent on the child’s behalf
- When testing the DNA sample of a deceased person – in this instance the person in question cannot give their consent. This means that a person with a qualifying relationship to the deceased (e.g. spouse, partner, child) must provide consent on their behalf, for the DNA samples to be collected and analysed
It is illegal to perform a DNA test without the appropriate consent.
Can I refuse a DNA test?
Yes, you can refuse to take part in a DNA test if you do not want to provide your DNA sample for any reason.
However, you should be aware that if you are refusing a DNA test for legal reasons, such as during a child maintenance or custody dispute, the court may still decide to order a DNA test.
In these circumstances you could still refuse to participate in the test, but the court would be forced to reach a decision either way without this DNA evidence.
If you are a parent/guardian who is refusing to grant permission for your child’s DNA to be tested for legal matters, the court may override your refusal if it considers that it is in the child’s best interest for the sample to be taken (e.g. during custody disputes).
Where can I buy a DNA test?
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Our award-winning, ISO 17025-accredited DNA laboratory has been helping people find out the truth about their family relationships since 2004.
We offer a wide range of DNA tests to suit all circumstances including paternity, non-invasive prenatal paternity (NIPP), maternity, sibling, twin, grandparent, and aunt/uncle tests.
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Need a DNA test for court or other private legal/official matters? Call us on 01 402 9466, request a quote online, or email email@example.com to discuss your requirements.
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