Other kinship testing
35.201 DNA parentage testing is one form of kinship testing. Other forms of kinship testing may involve identifying or confirming biological relationships between twins, siblings, grandparents or other relatives.
35.202 DNA testing for kinship, other than parentage, is not currently regulated within Australia. This form of testing falls outside the FLA, the FL Regulations and the current NATA accreditation requirements. As a result, both accredited and non-accredited laboratories may offer these forms of kinship testing. There is currently no formal oversight of the collection of bodily samples, procedures for maintaining the integrity of the samples, consent to participation in testing, provision of counselling, conduct of testing, or disclosure of test results.
35.203 The Inquiry has some concerns about the lack of regulation of this form of testing. However, it also recognises that some of the special features of parentage testing, which justified heightened regulatory scrutiny, may be absent in the case of broader kinship testing. For example, kinship testing may be less sensitive because it concerns the identity of the extended family rather than the immediate family; the test outcome may have a lesser capacity to produce emotional or psychological harm; the testing may not involve children; and the financial consequences for the parties may not be as great.
35.204 In DP 66 the Inquiry asked whether DNA kinship testing (other than parentage testing) should be regulated and whether NATA accreditation standards should be extended to cover this form of genetic testing.
35.205 NATA supported the extension of accreditation requirements to cover kinship testing. The other submissions addressing the question supported the extension of NATA to kinship testing generally. Sydney IVF Limited commented that the NATA accreditation requirements for parentage testing should be extended to other forms of kinship testing as one way to ensure the accuracy of the results.
35.206 The Inquiry agrees with the submissions that these forms of testing should be regulated to ensure that minimum technical and ethical standards are upheld by the laboratories conducting the testing. While parentage testing usually involves more direct relationships than those involved in other kinship testing, both involve questions about family and identity, with potentially serious emotional and other implications for those being tested.
35.207 The Inquiry recommends that NATA should extend its accreditation program to cover DNA kinship testing other than parentage testing. NATA should apply the requirements for parentage testing, as amended by the Recommendations in this Report, to other kinship testing, in so far as they are applicable.
Recommendation 35–12 NATA should extend its accreditation program to cover DNA kinship testing other than parentage testing (for example, sibling testing). NATA should apply the requirements for parentage testing, as amended by the Recommendations in this Report, to other kinship testing, in so far as they are applicable.
 There are various reasons for conducting genetic tests in relation to these forms of kinship. A person might seek testing to establish a biological connection with a deceased person to claim a share in his or her estate; for identification purposes, such as after a mass disaster; for immigration purposes; or to ascertain personal identity, such as where a person has been separated from his or her biological family through adoption, past government policy, or other circumstances.
 Australian Law Reform Commission and Australian Health Ethics Committee, Protection of Human Genetic Information, DP 66 (2002), ALRC, Sydney, Question 31–2.
 National Association of Testing Authorities Australia, Submission G273, 18 December 2002.
 Genetic Support Council WA, Submission G243, 19 December 2002; Centre for Genetics Education, Submission G232, 18 December 2002; Institute of Actuaries of Australia, Submission G224, 29 November 2002; Human Genetics Society of Australasia, Submission G267, 20 December 2002; Law Institute of Victoria, Submission G275, 19 December 2002; Association of Genetic Support of Australasia, Submission G284, 25 December 2002; Department of Human Services South Australia, Submission G288, 23 December 2002; NSW Health Department, Submission G303, 13 January 2003; Genetic Technologies Corporation Pty Ltd, Submission G245, 19 December 2002; Office of the Privacy Commissioner (NSW), Submission G257, 20 December 2002; Department of Health Western Australia, Submission G271, 23 December 2002.
 Sydney IVF Limited, Submission G246, 19 December 2002.