Familial DNA Testing: Current Practices and Recommendations for Implementation

  • Allison Murray
  • Chandler Grant
  • Mackenzie Beyer
  • Angelica Wilz
  • Emily Williamson
  • Julia Maier
  • Lauryn Kesserling
  • Konrad Wojtas
  • Jozlyn Gibbs
  • Kevin Karakat
  • Lawrence A Quarino Cedar Crest College
Keywords: familial DNA searching, current practices, , search criteria and methodology, data verification and reporting


The following paper will describe the current use of familial DNA search in the United States.  Although each year more states are using the technique in criminal investigations, it remains an underutilized technique in part due to its controversial nature as exemplified by Maryland and the District of Columbia who have legislatively prohibited its use.  The paper will compare and contrast the policy and procedures in states including California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Virginia Wisconsin, and Wyoming where formal guidelines to not perform familial testing have been established.  Although these states have much in common with regard to familial testing, there are notable differences.  Discussion will include criteria to conduct a search, administrative structure responsible for the search, search methods, protection of privacy concerns and civil liberties, and dissemination of results. The paper will conclude with author recommendations for a path forward.  

Author Biography

Lawrence A Quarino, Cedar Crest College

Assistant Professor

Director of Forensic Science Program

Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences

Investigative Articles