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DNA test in France

Contrary to beliefs about DNA testing, it is not forbidden or considered illegal to do genetic analysis in France.  

It is therefore possible and legal to use a person's DNA to enable genetic identification, also called genetic fingerprinting.


It should nevertheless be understood that the conditions of use of DNA are strictly controlled by laws according to a context established by French legislation.

In this way, it is necessary to distinguish the different recourses to the use of a DNA test:  

- DNA tests carried out during legal proceedings

- DNA tests carried out outside of legal proceedings 

Can a DNA test be done in France?

dna test in France

What does the French law say about DNA testing?

France is the country that has the most restrictive legislation regarding DNA testing, yet The latter is not prohibited there, but only very regulated. So, the tests DNA legal within the framework of a procedure judicial are authorized, while curiosity DNA tests are not.

In other words, it is allowed and legal to do a DNA test if a judicial authority requests it.

The identification of a person by his genetic fingerprints can only be sought:

- In the context of investigative or investigative measures carried out during legal proceedings,

- For medical or scientific research purposes,

- For the purpose of establishing, when she is unknown, the identity of deceased persons,

- Within the framework of the defense code

In civil matters, this identification can only be sought in execution of an investigative measure ordered by the judge seized of an action tending either to the establishment or the contestation of a parent-child relationship, or to obtain or the removal of the subsidies.


The consent of the interested party must be obtained beforehand and expressly. Except with the express agreement of the person, manifested from being alive, no identification by genetic fingerprints can be carried out after his death.

When the identification is carried out for medical or scientific research purposes, the person's consent must be obtained in writing before the identification is carried out, after they have been duly informed of its nature and purpose. .


The consent mentions the purpose of the identification. It is revocable without form and at any time. (...)

Article 16-11, modified by ordinance n°2019-964 of 18 Sept 2019 - Civil Code

DNA Test french law

Are only authorized to carry out identifications by genetic fingerprints the people having been the object of an approval in des terms fixed by decree in Council of State. In the context of legal proceedings, these persons must also be entered on a list of legal experts.

DNA testing falls into the first category regarding the scope of a legal proceeding aimed at notably :

-The establishment of a family relationship

-Disputing a link from filiation

The establishment or contestation of a parent-child relationship refers to the civil status of a child. It is the Tribunal de Grande Instance that will define the search for filiation in order to consider whether or not a biological link between the participants.

-Obtaining subsidies (sums paid, subsidies)

-The elimination of subsidies

This concerns getting or removing  the obligation  from a parent to provide means of substances  to her child. This generally concerns situations where the parentage of the parent is not clearly established.

Of course, the article highlights the importance of the consent of the people tested. In this sense,even during a legal test, a person can absolutely refuse to undergo a DNA testwhile being in his right. (although this refusal can be used as evidence during a judgment) Par elsewhere,consent must be explicitand cannot be considered tacit.

As a result, since the implementation of this bioethics law, which appeared in 1994, individuals can only use their DNA in the context of legal proceedings to be valid in court.


In the event of non-compliance with these rules,article 226-7 of the Penal Codeplans up to3750€fine if you request the examination of a genetic analysis without the authorization of the person sampled, or carried out outside the cases provided for by law on French soil.

Finally, you will not be able to find any laboratory or commercial company that will offer you to do DNA tests on French soil.

Article 16-12, modified by law n°2004-800 of August 16, 2004 - Civil Code

Paternity testing can be done in several contexts, but only permitted in the context of one of the following legal proceedings:

  • Establishing or contesting a biological parentage link

  • Receive or remove a financial contribution

  • Establish a person's identity

Also, no DNA test can be done before the birth of a child.

The law requires a mandatory passage before the judge who can determine whether or not a genetic analysis is necessary to resolve a legal or administrative case.

Anyone can refuse to submit to a paternity test, as their consent is mandatory for the analysis.

Illegal DNA test in France

It is considered illegal to take a DNA test outside of legal proceedings in France. According to the law, it is forbidden to carry out a genetic analysis in a private setting, for example on the internet or abroad. Therefore, as an individual, you do not have the right to use tests considered recreational through private laboratories.

Is French law applicable?

Despite the implementation of this law by the French government, in practice, DNA tests ordered from France or carried out from abroad do not show great severity of control by the authorities..

Every year, more than 15,000 DNA tests are carried out by the French with laboratories located abroad.


It is easily demonstrable that in almost all, the sanction is not there.

At first, it is very difficult for customs toto intercept the collection kits or the genetic samples to define whether it actually concerns the purchase of a DNA test or not.


So,the possibilities of prosecution are almost nil, because the investigation procedure requires too much involvement for sanctions that can often be paid.


Consequently, the seizure by the customs services of a kit made out to your address may in rare cases lead you to pay a simple fine.

This increasing trend is proof of the need for the French population to want to have access to their genetic information.


This research must also be considered today as a fundamental right of freedom. 

French law application for genetic

Since the establishment of the Oviedo Convention of April 4, 1997 for the protection of human rights and human dignity with regard to the applications of biology and medicine, many countries Europeans have implemented a policy that tends to open up access to our genetic information.

This convention establishes the fundamental principles applicable with regard to biology and medicine, including protection of human rights in the biomedical field.


This international legal instrument represents a crucial step in safeguarding the dignity, identity and rights of all people, without discrimination and with respect for their integrity.

France remains an exception in Europe with its bioethics law which still does not allow access to the personal information contained in your DNA, since the majority of countries authorize in more or less different measures the use of DNA tests.


Hoping there is a risk of pushing the State to perhaps soon revise the laws concerning bioethics in order to align themselves with the standards applied in all the territories bordering France.

France remains a kind of exception in Europe in terms of bioethics.


Unlike many other countries in the region, France maintains a law that prohibits access to any personal information contained in your DNA without explicit consent.


On the one hand, it is commendable that France values the right to privacy and protects its citizens against the exploitation of their genetic information for non-commercial purposes.


On the other hand, this law can also be considered harmful and outdated, since innovations in genetics have enabled people to make informed decisions about their own health and well-being.


Ultimately, it seems clear that France needs to reconsider its strict bioethics law to reflect modern scientific realities and keep pace with other European nations.

France isolated in Europe 

While genetic testing and DNA analysis are attracting growing interest, surveillance measures to prevent people from accessing these services outside the territory are non-existent.


In France, nothing prevents a French national from carrying out a DNA test in a laboratory in another country.


In the absence of adequate protective measures, it is therefore conceivable that anyone could buy a DNA test abroad and obtain the results from France without being worried.

In addition, it is very often reported that for cases concerning family law, lawyers recommend a private test to be done abroad before starting legal proceedings on French soil..


Indeed, the speed of the process and the more affordable cost make it possible to take note of a link de filiation  before starting procedures which can be long and expensive with the French administration.


You can use this document as evidence, but not as proof since you are established abroad.

Nevertheless, the risk you take in doing a private DNA test is usually related to obtaining the consent of the participants.


In the context of a genetic analysis with the DNA of a child, not having the agreement and the explicit consent of both parents can turn against you if the parent learns of it and files a complaint against you.

Carrying out a DNA test outside the legal rules is punishable by a prison sentence, one year's imprisonment or a fine of €15,000.

What are the risks of doing a DNA test in France?

As an individual, you can use  DNA tests by the bias  private laboratories outside of all administrative or legal procedures.


Even if the test is not done in a laboratory designated by an examining magistrate, it is important that the laboratory holds all the necessary accreditations for carrying out a genetic analysis.

untest with a private laboratory  can be done in two situations: 

- A recreational DNA test at home: 

This private test has no value whether it be, sinceits realization does not occur within the framework of a chain of traceabilityand so done anonymously upon analysis by the laboratory.  These tests are carried out solely for your curiosity and in this sense have no legal value.

- A legal DNA test:  

It is possible to have appeal  to a private laboratory to carry out a DNA test even though no procedure is in progress.


Genetic analysis for to know  the parentage link is established as part of a chain from traceability, les results genetics are valid and can be used with  legal or administrative authorities abroad only.

What test can you do with a private lab?

The democratization of DNA tests opens access to quite playful research on the trail of your origins and your ancestors, and also to respond to more serious problems such as screening for certain diseases or looking for a biological relationship between family members.

A private test can be done at home by placing the order with an online laboratory. The material 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 analyses by email or post.

There are 2 types of DNA Test that can give you answers about you and your family.

How to do a private test?

Kinship analysis involves a comparison of genetic profiles between multiple people to determine a biological connection. The test is able to reveal the similarities and differences that form your DNA and measures the level of match to establish a relationship.


However, it is important to note that without the confrontation of several profiles, it is not possible to determine the precise family links because the DNA is unique and can only reveal one's personal genetic heritage.

Relationship DNA tests to verify your parentage:

relationship DNA Test

Genealogy DNA tests: 


Genealogical DNA tests make it possible to establish ancestral relations by comparing your genetic profile with those stored in a database made up of different reference ethnic groups.


By studying specific regions of your DNA, this test is able to provide you with information about your genetic heritage and may even allow you to discover matches with other people who have also taken this type of test.

Genealogy DNA Test

- 3 to 5 days using mouth swabs for all attendees

- 10 days minimum if one of the participants uses non-standard samples



This delay is calculated from the moment yours samples arrive at the laboratory. Transport time is not considered. 

What are the analysis times? 

Time frame DNA Test

The accuracy of the paternal parentage test depends on several criteria, such as the quality of the samples, the recognition of the laboratory, and the type of test chosen according to family circumstances.


A negative result is considered 100% reliable, while a positive result is considered 99% reliable.


The testing process involves comparing the genetic profiles of the participants, which allows the lab to determine if the tested father is actually the biological father of the child.

How reliable are the results?

It is not possible, today, to buy a paternity test and a DNA test in general in pharmacies in France.


Only an approved laboratory can offer this service. The pharmacy can still offer sampling kits for saliva samples. 

Is it possible to have a paternity test in Pharmacy?


Doing a paternity test in France can be a relatively simple process. In general, the first step is to contact a reputable laboratory that offers genetic analysis services. The next step is to receive by mail equipment for taking saliva samples from all participants.


Once you have prepared your samples, you must return the entire genetic kit to the laboratory address abroad.


Upon receipt, results are usually available within days or weeks. Overall, taking a paternity test in France is easy and convenient, making it an ideal option for anyone who needs to confirm their biological relationship to another individual.


The test itself can take many different forms depending on your needs and situation. Possible options include hair samples, blood samples or oral cells taken from inside your mouth. Once the test is complete, results are usually available within days or weeks.


Generally, carrying out a paternity test in France is simple and practical, making it an ideal option for anyone who needs to confirm their biological relationship with another individual.

How to do a paternity test in France?

Paternity test in France

A paternity test is a comparison procedure used to determine if a man is the biological father of a child.


This procedure usually involves taking a genetic sample from the father, mother and child, which is then analyzed by a laboratory.


The results of the analysis indicate whether there is a match between the genetic profiles of the family members in question.


While paternity testing can be done for legal or personal reasons, it is most often used in situations where parentage issues arise, such as in divorce proceedings or disputes over biological parentage.













Le Mans
























Le Harve


All genetic services throughout France, notably in the following cities:

Prenatal paternity test in France

Do a prenatal DNA paternity test in France, in order to know the biological father of the unborn fetus.


Discover the price of the prenatal paternity test, the procedure for making your order online.

Test between brothers in France

Genetic analysis between brothers in France, in order to know the biological filiation link and to determine the common paternity or maternity.


Discover the price of the fraternity test, the procedure for making your order online.

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