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




NATURE Magazine Discusses CCHF's Baby DNA Efforts

NATURE Magazine Discusses CCHF's Baby DNA Efforts

Bearder v. State of Minnesota was brought by nine families who wanted the state to obrtain written informed consent to collect, store or use infants' blood samples. The lawsuit was spearheaded by the Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom in St Paul.

CCHF Responds to MDH Press Release on Baby DNA

CCHF Responds to MDH Press Release on Baby DNA

St. Paul/Minneapolis—Today, the Minnesota Department of Health issued a press release on their plan to begin destroying baby DNA as required by the Minnesota Supreme Court. Twila Brase, president of Citizens' Council for Health Freedom, provides the following comments:

"As opposed to Commissioner Ehlinger's quote, the newborn residual bloodspots are not a 'valuable public health resource,' they are the DNA of every newborn citizen, which the Department has been claiming as theirs. They've been storing, using, and sharing them for research without the consent of parents. It would be illegal for the State to collect and store the DNA of adults, but they have been doing it to up-and-coming adults, in other words, newborns, without authority and in violation of state law for years..."


MN Supreme Court Says State of Minnesota in Violation of MN Genetic Privacy Law

The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled that the Minnesota Department of Health is violating the Minnesota Genetic Privacy Law with its storage, use and dissemination of newborn screening test results and newborn DNA.

Minnesota Supreme Court Ruling Favors Genetic Privacy

Minnesota Supreme Court Ruling Favors Genetic Privacy
The Minnesota Supreme Court today issued a ruling in support of the 9-famiies who sued the Minnesota Department of Health for violation of the state genetic privacy law. 

Doctors' Townhall in Nashville

Doctors' Townhall in Nashville

Twila Brase, president of CCHF, discusses the privacy implications of newborn genetic testing and State warehousing of Baby DNA, including State ownership of the DNA of every newborn citizen.


Nine-Family Appelants Reply to the MN Supreme Court re: MN Department of Health Brief

Baby DNA Lawsuits

Baby DNA Lawsuits

On March 1, 2011, the Minnesota Supreme Court heard arguments on the nine-family lawsuit against the MN Dept of Health for the collection, storage, use, and dissemination of newborn DNA without the consent or knowledge of parents.

Sample letter to send to your state Department of Health

MN Dept of Health Brief to the Minnesota Supreme Court

Nine-Family Supreme Court Appellant's Principal Brief