Legal DNA test

DNA Testing Legislation

Contrary to popular belief, DNA testing is not prohibited or considered illegal . In fact, you can see it by the many uses of DNA being made in past and ongoing court cases all over the world. In addition, the modes of this use are widely relayed by films and series which places this practice in a popular culture.

It is therefore entirely possible and legal to use a person's DNA to allow genetic identification, also called genetic fingerprinting. It must nevertheless be understood that the conditions of use may be different depending on the context and the legislation of the country in which the test is established.

To do this, it is necessary to distinguish the modes of course to the use of a DNA test:


Make a Legal DNA Test

Depending on the laws of your country, you have the option of subscribing to a legally valid DNA test . This legal, accredited and court-approved test can be used in any legal process or before a public body.

Please note, before choosing a legal test, you must first consult a legal advisor or a lawyer to ensure that the results are admissible as evidence.

Laboratories cannot guarantee that test results will always be admitted by a court or public body.


Legal DNA test procedure


Contact a doctor to organize an appointment for the samples


Order the legal DNA test on the laboratory website


Receive the DNA kit

at the doctor


Take the samples

with the doctor

The Doctor must return

your samples by registered mail


Receive your results

by email

The doctor will have to:

- Check the identity of the participants

- Take saliva samples

- Complete the documents concerning the DNA test

- Return the samples to the laboratory with an acknowledgment of receipt

Under no circumstances should participants be in contact with the kit or samples for legal DNA testing

In which country can a DNA test be done?


In civil matters, the use of DNA can only be sought in execution of an investigative measure ordered by a judge seized of a legal action or by a high administrative authority in order to allow the identification of a person by his genetic fingerprints.

This can be as part of an investigative measure, for medical purposes, to establish the identity of an unknown / deceased person as well as in the establishment or dispute of a parentage link.

Having a DNA test in the context of legal or administrative proceedings is possible in the vast majority of countries. But the negative point can be the slowness of the procedure and especially its cost.

DNA tests carried out in the context of legal or administrative proceedings

Today , as an individual, you now have the possibility of doing DNA tests with private laboratories outside of all administrative or legal procedures . Usually these tests are considered recreational, but they have some nuance depending on the situation and the context.

Non-legal DNA tests :

The test in a private capacity is thus considered as a non- legal test since its completion does not reside within the framework of a judicial or administrative procedure . They are made only for your curiosity and in this sense have no legal value.

Illegal DNA tests :

DNA testing laws may differ from country to country. Thus the simple fact that an individual subscribes to a DNA test outside of a judicial or administrative procedure is considered illegal in certain countries.


But this exception is not a universal, please inquire about the laws in force in your country to know if DNA tests are allowed or not.

Legal DNA tests :

Most countries that accept the use of recreational DNA tests also allow, under different conditions, that individuals go through private laboratories to do DNA tests that have legal value. The legal tests can in this case be done outside of all administrative or judicial procedures on the simple request of an individual.

DNA tests carried out privately

A legal DNA test can be useful in many legal proceedings or disputes concerning, among other things:

- Family law - alimony, visitation rights, custody ...

- Immigration procedure and family reunification

- Succession disputes

The peculiarity of the legal test lies in the strict rules relating to DNA sampling. Thus the laboratory must provide a rigorous procedure to maintain the chain of custody of samples.   from sampling to final analysis and results.

This chain of custody ensures the authenticity of the information concerning the participants of a DNA test. Thus the DNA samples must be done by a third person to test. This can be a collector mandated by justice or a person under the right of medical reserve like a doctor.

The identity of the participants must be verified and all the documents necessary for the test duly completed, otherwise the test results will not be admissible.

In order to respect the chain of custody, the person in charge of the samples guarantees the conformity of the process . The samples must be sealed and labeled respectively while avoiding that at any time the participants come into direct contact with the samples.

The guaranteer also takes care of sending samples and documents directly to the laboratory, by registered mail with acknowledgment of receipt.

The laboratory must be accredited by national bodies and recognised by the courts of the country in question, in order to guarantee a reliable and precise analysis procedure . The results are sent to you by email within ten days with the documents required for legal procedures.

The particularity of a Legal DNA test

Under no circumstances can a legal DNA test be done anonymously , as the aim is precisely to verify the identity of the participants. If you would like more information about anonymity in online DNA tests we explain it in our article on data protection

A Legal Test cannot be Anonymous

The type of sample you should use for a legal test is exclusively saliva. Under no circumstances will you be able to offer non-standard samples, since the question of anonymity arises.

Use of saliva samples

DNA testing laws may differ from country to country. Before ordering a test, please inform yourself about the risks and reasons why genetic testing is not unanimous in all countries.

Today, professionals and associations are mobilising to obtain the legalisation of genetic tests in certain more resentful countries such as France. Because more and more people want to be tested and believe that access to information in their DNA is a right that everyone can have , whether out of curiosity or for genealogical purposes.

Please take into consideration that your DNA is part of your heritage , so you have the right to access the information that this heritage contains. However, it is essential to choose your laboratory with care to keep full control of the genetic data that you make available. The GDPR will allow you to know your rights and to enforce them.

Check your Legislation

Since your DNA test will be carried out by a laboratory in a country which authorises it, you have the right to travel to this country to do a DNA test or order on the internet .

In this case it does not matter where the participants are, since you will receive your collection kit by post. You will only need to return your samples and view your results by email.

If you want to do a DNA test from an African country, we offer a guide to facilitate the process. DNA Test from Africa

Non-Legal DNA Tests Can Be Done From Any Country

Do a legal DNA test in Belgium:

Belgium is the spearhead of Francophone countries on statutory tests. You can request a Legal test from any accredited laboratory, whether or not present on Belgian soil, and whether or not you are in legal or administrative proceedings. However, tests can only be carried out outside the official procedure with the consent of the persons concerned. For a child the consent of both parents is necessary.

Take a legal DNA test in Switzerland:

In Switzerland you have the possibility to request a Legal test from any accredited laboratory present or not on the ground and whether or not you are in a legal or administrative procedure. However, tests can only be carried out outside the official procedure with the consent of the persons concerned. For a child the consent of both parents is necessary.

Legal DNA tests can be done from countries that allow it