The state of California has reportedly stored the DNA of every baby since 1983, and that DNA may be available to police and outside researchers.
KPIX notes the bio-samples are stored in a state-run biobank, where they can be purchased for outside research.
California law requires that parents be informed of their right to request their baby’s DNA sample destroyed, but KPIX reports that most parents are not notified.
The DNA from babies is taken with a heel prick shortly after birth (blood spots), per the Newborn Genetic Screening test, which is required in all states.
The Newborn Genetic Screening tests babies for dozens of congenital disorders, which leads to possible life-saving early diagnosis each year for 5,000 to 6,000 babies.
However, many parents aren’t aware of the test during childbirth, even though they are paying for it.
In California, six blood spots are collected from each baby, but unlike most states, the the blood spots are not destroyed after a year, but are kept for research indefinitely in a state-run biobank.
The blood spots, paid for by the parents, become property of the state and may be sold to outside researchers without the parent’s knowledge or consent.
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