Baby DNA and Newborn Screening

...[M]ost parents are completely stunned when they find out that their child's blood is being held by the State. They have no recollection and they think it's unlawful.

Dr. Sharon Kardia, University of Michigan, September 23, 2009.


Photo from 2005 MN Department of health provider manual


One FL baby says "Help! The Gov't Has My DNA"

Newborn screening is the most widely performed type of genetic testing in the United States today. . . . Most states, including New York, do not require parental consent. . . .

Most newborn screening programs, including New York's program, store residual newborn blood samples (bloodspots) and use them for research.

"Genetic Testing and Screening in the Age of Genomic Medicine (Exec. Summary), NY Dept. of Health. 


Whether you like it or not, a complete [genomic] sequencing of newborns is not far away.

Francis Collins, Director, National Institutes of Health, October 26, 2009




MN Dept of Health Brief to the Minnesota Supreme Court

Nine-Family Supreme Court Appellant's Principal Brief

Baby DNA Appeal Decision 2010

Because the testing of newborn blood is authorized by the newborn screening statute for public-health reasons, a party whose blood was collected, retained, used, or disseminated in accordance with that statute may not assert a separate tort action or constitutional claims of improper governmental taking or invasion of privacy for that conduct.

Bearder vs. State of Minnesota/MDH - Appellants Brief Filed

MN Dept of Health Response to 9-Family Appeal to MN Supreme Court

MN Supreme Court Ruling - Bearder, et al. vs. State of Minnesota

Baby DNA Court Ruling Disregards Constitutional Rights

Yesterday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled to affirm the lower court's dismissal of the 9-parent lawsuit against the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). The parents had challenged the collection, retention, use, and dissemination of newborn DNA by MDH as unconstitutional and in violation of the Minnesota Genetic Privacy Act.

CCHC Opposes Baby DNA Banking in Comments on HHS Proposal

According to Recommendations from HHS, the newborn DNA of children is a valuable resource that should be banked by government and made available to researchers without parent consent. Citizens' Council on Health Care has responded in opposition by sending public comments to HHS.

CCHC Opposes HHS' Lack of Consent for State Retention of Baby DNA

CCHF responds to HHS Request for Public Comments on “Considerations and Recommendations for National Guidance Regarding the Retention and Use of Residual Dried Blood Spot Specimens after Newborn Screening,” – a Briefing Paper issued April 26, 2010 by HHS through the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children.

Key Information