What does the law say about DNA testing?
Insofar asno law does not exist in Belgium to regulate in a way overall the use of DNA testingin matters of parentage.
It is entirely possible and legal to carry out a genetic analysis of DNAto determine parentage between family members.
This practice is widely used to confirm the paternity of a child whether privately or during legal or administrative proceedings.
Can a DNA test be done in Belgium?
The democratization of DNA tests opens access for quite playful researchon the trail of your origins and your ancestors,and also respond to more serious problems such as screening for certain diseases orlooking for a biological relationshipbetween family members.
A private test can be done at home by placing the order with an online laboratory.
The mMaterial for the test is sent after the order with the sampling instructions.
The participant must return his samples by post and receive the results of the analyzes by email or post.
There are 2 types of DNA Test that can provide you with answers about you and your family:
DNA test in Belgium
Despite no specificity on the framework of genetic analyzes and DNA tests,Belgium is a leading country in terms of bioethics.
As much on scientific development as on the current debate concerning the values of freedoms, ethical rules, respect for human dignity and the protection of the person.
The government takes into account the beneficial impact on health of new genetic research and raises societal or cultural problems requiring an appropriate legal framework.
Bills have already been tabled, but have so far never come to fruition.. However, even if no specific law exists on DNA testing, not everything is allowed.
For example, performing a DNA test on a minor child is protected by the consent of a legal parent.
No person in doubt of paternity can give consent for a minor child if he does not appear as a legal parent on the child's birth certificate.
Moreover, if one of the two parents objects, he can prevent the genetic analysis by using the DNA of the child. So,only a judge can decide to modify or establish a parent-child relationship.Scan results do not automatically change a child's paternity.
In Belgium,it is possible to do a DNA test for parentage research in a private setting, but also during a legal or administrative procedure. This genetic analysis can be considered recreational and without legal value, or depending on the procedure, be used as a legal result and confirm a biological link.
We can distinguish 3 types of DNA tests:
Under what conditions can an analysis be carried out in Belgium?
DNA tests in the context of a legal action
The result of this analysis has the greatest value before the judge, because being ordered by the judge himself.
It offers the greatest guarantee of respect for everyone's consent and the interests of the family.
Moreover,the conditions allow this test to be used only when a doubt and a dispute of filiation are recognized by the court.
Legal DNA tests carried out with an approved laboratory, but outside of a legal procedure
The accreditations of a laboratory represent a guarantee of security on the method of analysis.
The report can then be used to initiate legal action and it is sometimes more useful to do so before.
Butit is advisable to confirm with a lawyer depending on the situation, a DNA test carried out outside of a legal procedure may be useless on results that go against a legal rule.
Private DNA tests performed at home and only recreational
Even if the test is carried out at an accredited genetic center, failure to follow the procedurere legal will not allow you to use the result in court.
Whether this test is done during or outside the judicial or administrative procedure.
In the facts,a DNA test result cannot be verified if the samples were taken by the participants without checking the identities and the samples.
The result of the genetic analysis does not automatically modify the filiation link and only a judge can decide on this change..
The judge may not follow genetic relationship evidence from a DNA test to prioritize the best interests of the child and the peace of the family.
Belgian law provides that anyone cannot dispute a parentage. Only people who are directly linked to the doubt of paternity and according to terms of duration, a request for examination can be requested from the competent judge.
For a child:
A child can take action to challenge his parentage in Belgium between the ages of 12 and 22. If the child is over 22, he can appeal up to one year after the discovery of the parentage.
The person with respect to whom the parentage link is established or the person claiming the parentage link:
She can challenge up to one year after the discovery of the parentage.
Legal father or legal mother:
The father or the mother can challenge the paternal/maternal filiation link within one year of the discovery of a link with a third person.
Can a parentage relationship be disputed?
Yes, a judge can cancel a parent-child relationship in Belgium depending on the family situation and the person contesting it. The court can define it according to circumstances and the interests of the child.
Thus a father can recognize a child after contesting a link that has been demonstrated, canceled and replaced.
Can we cancel a parentage link?
How to do a test Legal ?
For the results of a DNA test to be considered legally valid, it is important to respect the conditions imposed by the laboratory and the court. These conditions are intended to guarantee the reliability of the samples and the identity of the participants.
It should be noted that DNA tests are not always obligatory within the framework of a legal procedure and can be carried out on the initiative of the participants, without intervention of the court. However, it is advisable to turn to accredited laboratories to guarantee the reliability of the results.
A legally recognized DNA test can be very useful in many family law situations, such as child support, visitation or custody disputes.
It may also be required for immigration and family reunification procedures or to settle inheritance disputes.
The legal DNA test is distinguished by the strict DNA sampling protocols that must be respected. The laboratory must follow rigorous procedures to ensure the reliability of the samples and the identity of the participants.
In this way, the chain of custody of the samples is preserved from collection to final analysis and transmission of results.
To ensure the reliability and validity of the results of a DNA test, it is crucial to follow a rigorous sample collection procedure. This involves verifying the identity of participants and keeping them separate from the samples.
The samples must be taken by a designated third party, such as a collector appointed by the courts or a health professional. The chain of custody of the samples must be rigorously respected, with adequate labeling and sealing to guarantee process compliance.
Results will not be accepted if chain of custody requirements are not met.
The transport of the samples and the required information is done under the responsibility of the mandated third party. The latter ensures delivery using a registered mail method with an acknowledgment of receipt for maximum traceability.
The laboratory must be approved by national competent authorities and recognized by the courts, to guarantee a rigorous and reliable analysis of the results.
You will receive the results of your test by email in approximately 10 days, with all the documents necessary for any possible legal proceedings.
Anonymity during a legal DNA test
Unlike a private and recreational test, the legal DNA test aims precisely to check the identity of the participants.It is therefore unthinkable to carry them out anonymously.
This is why, during a forensic test, the identity of the participants is checked before the samples are taken in an approved laboratory.
After a legal DNA test,the genetic profile is saved together with the civil information of the person concerned.It seems all the more obvious that this identity must be preserved.
Thus, at any time a court decision can request laboratory verification to establish a biological parentage link between two people.
In this sense, the withdrawal of your consent will cancel the entire procedure and you will no longer be able to use the results as a document during your administrative procedures.
How to do a private test?
Parentage analysis compares the genetic profiles of two or more people to determine a common biological heritage.
Generally speaking,the test highlights the similarities and differences that make up your DNA fingerprint and assesses your match ratein order to give you results corresponding to your search for a relationship.
Under no circumstances can this study be established without comparing different individuals, because your DNA is unique and does not contain the genetic profiles of your family, only its heritage.
Genealogy DNA testing examines specific locations in your DNA to estimate ancestral genetic relationships.
It allows you to compare and integrate your genetic profile into a databasewhich lists and uses differentreference ethnic groups, composed of people tested and whose previous origins are known.
The genealogy test gives you access to a potential family tree of individuals close to your genetic heritage.
As well as relationship matches with people who have also taken the test on their side.
The choice of laboratory is a very important step when you want to do a parentage test. You should know that not all laboratories offer the same services and depending on several factors it is better to make the right choice.
You must choose a laboratory according to:
-Your situationfamily and available participants
-Trustthat the laboratory inspires through customer feedback
-Transparencyof the company concerning its activity and your expectations
How to choose a reliable Laboratory?
Test de Paternité
Echantillon non standard
Inclure la mère
Résultat en Express
It is not possible to buy a paternity test and a DNA test in general in pharmacies in Belgium. Only an approved laboratory can offer this service. The pharmacy can still offer collection kits for saliva samples.