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How to do a DNA test in Belgium?

Updated: Mar 26

Contrary to beliefs, DNA tests are not prohibited or considered illegal in Belgium. It is entirely possible and legal to use someone's DNA for genetic identification in the search for parentage.

Belgian law allows and recognizes the use of DNA in executing an investigative measure ordered by a judge or a high administrative authority, which can be part of an inquiry, for medical purposes, to establish the identity of an unknown/deceased person, and in establishing or contesting parentage.

Additionally, it is possible to undergo a private test arranged with an independent Belgian or foreign laboratory holding all international accreditations for calibration and genetic testing.

So in Belgium, you can undergo a private DNA test such as:

  • Non-legal Belgian DNA tests:

DNA tests not conducted within the scope of a judicial or administrative procedure and considered recreational. They are solely performed for your curiosity and, in this sense, have no legal value.

  • Legal Belgian DNA tests:

DNA tests conducted by private laboratories, but with results holding legal validity, admissible in court. The legal DNA test can be done during or outside of a judicial or administrative procedure.

Unfortunately, DNA tests are not available in pharmacies.

How to do a paternity test in Belgium?

  1. Place your DNA test order online.

  2. Receive the kit at home.

  3. Follow the instructions for saliva or non-standard sample collection.

  4. Send back participants' samples by mail.

  5. Get your results via email within 3 to 5 days.

  • The use of other sample types is possible but with certain reservations: Click here.

Genetic analysis to determine the biological relationship between a father and a child is now considered highly reliable. The results will provide either a positive or negative answer.

Reliability of a DNA test in Belgium:

  1. Laboratory accreditation: The reliability of DNA test results depends on the laboratory's accreditation for the analysis methods used by scientists in establishing a biological relationship.

  2. Declaration of your situation: Clearly communicate your family situation, doubts, and possible relationships between participants before ordering. The DNA test result relies on your declaration, as it is linked to a deduction of possibilities.

  3. Type of test: Not all DNA tests are equal in terms of the probability ratio they offer. Depending on the basic situation, various tests are possible, with some being more reliable than others. In general, it is advisable to perform the DNA test directly with the person involved.

  4. Type of sample: The reliability of results does not depend on the type of sample, but not all samples reliably provide enough genetic information for a DNA test.

Know that it is possible to conduct a sibling DNA test even if participants are not in Belgium or distant cities. During your order, choose the option to receive a second kit at another address, either in Belgium or abroad.

Sibling testing is much more complex in analysis and result interpretation. The Belgian laboratory will provide only a percentage of probability which, depending on each person's genes, may not definitively answer the question.

If you want to learn more about interpreting genetic results: click here.

Paternity or maternity testing!

If the brother or sister is not available for the test, you have the option to undergo genetic analysis to determine your biological relationship with other family members. Unfortunately, there is currently no DNA test available in Belgium for analyzing relationships with cousins.

How to perform a prenatal paternity test in Belgium?

The prenatal paternity test involves using the mother's blood to isolate the baby's DNA, which is then compared to the DNA of one or more presumed fathers to establish a biological relationship.

This non-invasive test can only be conducted during pregnancy and poses no danger to either the baby or the mother, as it requires a simple blood draw.

  • The test can be conducted starting from the 9th week of gestation.

  • The test cannot be conducted in the following cases: In vitro fertilization (IVF), Multiple or twin pregnancies,

When the mother has cancer or preeclampsia, When the mother has undergone a blood transfusion, bone marrow transplant, organ transplant, or stem cell treatment.

The exclusive sample types are:

  • Blood sample from the mother

  • Saliva sample(s) from the presumed father(s)

No other samples can be used for this test.

Test to determine the baby's gender in Belgium

The prenatal DNA test allows you to discover the gender of your baby. It is a "non-invasive" test that can be conducted during pregnancy and requires a blood sample from the pregnant mother.

The prenatal DNA test to determine the baby's gender is, in fact, a detection of the Y chromosome present in the mother's blood.

Recall that Y chromosomes are genes transmitted only from father to son throughout the male lineage. A girl receives only X chromosome genes from both parents. By nature, the mother does not possess Y chromosomes in her body.

Thus, if the laboratory:

  • Detects the presence of the Y chromosome in the blood: the fetus is a boy

  • Does not detect the presence of the Y chromosome in the blood: the fetus is a girl


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