Baby DNA Lawsuits

As members of the American public have become increasingly aware of these state-based Baby DNA warehouses, government ownership of newborn DNA, and government research on infants without parent consent, lawsuits against state departments of health have emerged in Minnesota and in Texas.

In Minnesota, a lawsuit was filed by 9 families against the Minnesota Department of Health and the State of Minnesota on March 11, 2009. At the request of the Department, a Hennepin County judge dismissed the case on November 24, 2009. The case will be appealed. The attorney filed a notice of his plans to appeal on January 13, 2010.

In Texas, five parents filed a lawsuit through the Texas Civil Rights Project on March 12, 2009. Texas settled their lawsuit by agreeing to destroy blood spots collected without parent consent since 2002 (all blood spots before a May 27, 2009 opt-out bill became law), but keeping the genetic test results indefinitely. The new law allows retention of newborn blood spots (DNA) unless parents sign a form either the day of the screening when they receive the form or any time in the future (state form).

Thus, Texas parents were not given consent rights by the legislature. Only dissent rights were allowed. The May 2009 law gives Texas "first dibs" to the DNA of every newborn citizen allowing government storage, use and research on infants without parent consent. Only if the parent acts is the child protected from genetic analysis and research.