Familial DNA Testing: Current Practices and Recommendations for Implementation
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.
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