DNA Testing Legislation

Contrary to popular belief, DNA testing is not banned or considered illegal . To convince you of this, you can see it by the many uses of DNA made in past and current court cases all over the world. Moreover, the codes of this use are widely relayed by films and series, which inscribes this practice in popular culture.

It is therefore entirely possible and legal to use a person's DNA in order to allow genetic identification, also called genetic fingerprinting. It is necessary  nevertheless   to understand 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 methods of recourse to the use of a DNA test:  


How to do a Legal DNA Test?

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

Please note that before choosing a legal test, you must first consult a legal advisor or a lawyer   in order to ensure the admissibility of the results as evidence.

Laboratories cannot guarantee that test results will always be admitted by a court or government agency. 


In which country can a DNA test be done?

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

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

Having recourse to a DNA test within the framework of a legal or administrative procedure is possible  in   the vast majority of countries. But the negative points can be the slowness of the procedure and especially its cost.

DNA tests during legal or administrative proceedings

Today, you now have the possibility as an individual to do DNA tests with private laboratories outside of all administrative or legal procedures . In fact, these tests are considered recreational, but they nevertheless include a nuance depending on the situation and the context.

Non-legal DNA tests

The private test is thus considered as a non-legal test since the procedure does not take place within the framework of a legal or administrative procedure . They are made solely for your curiosity and in this sense have no legal value.

Illegal DNA tests :

DNA testing legislation 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 such as France. More information about laws and risks in France


But this exception is not a generality, please find out about the laws in force in your country to know if DNA tests are authorised or not.

Legal DNA tests  : 

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

Private DNA tests

A legal  DNA test can be useful in many legal proceedings or disputes concerning among others:

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

 - Immigration and reunification procedure  family

 - Inheritance disputes 

The particularity of the legal test lies in the strict rules relating to DNA sampling. In this case , the laboratory must   provide a rigorous procedure  to maintain the chain of custody of the samples   from collection until the final analysis and the results.

This chain of custody ensures  the authenticity of information concerning participants in a DNA test. Therefore, DNA samples must be taken by a third party to the 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 , in addition 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 guarantor also pays for the sending of samples and documents directly to the laboratory, by registered mail with acknowledgment of receipt.

The laboratory must be accredited by national bodies and recognized by the courts of the country in question, in order to guarantee a reliable and precise analysis procedure._cc781905-5cde - 3194-bb3b - 136bad5cf58d_ -5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_results are sent to you by email within ten days with the documents necessary for legal procedures.

Requirements for a Forensic 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

DNA test in Canada

Order your DNA test kit online


Receive your DNA kit at


logo médecin pour test adn légal

Take samples

at home

swab sample





Discover 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