New report highlights harsh impacts of DNA tests

Canadian Council for Refugees
Media Release

For immediate release
18 October 2011

New report highlights harsh impacts of DNA tests


The Canadian Council for Refugees today released a report, DNA tests: a barrier to speedy family reunification.

A request for DNA testing is a significant barrier faced by some people applying to reunite with their families in Canada – this happens when a Canadian official does not believe that the family relationship has been adequately proven.

Demands for DNA testing are causing significant hardships for some families, especially those who cannot afford the test or who have already been waiting years to be reunited. Most troubling of all is the impact on children, kept separated from their parents.

DNA requests are predominantly requested from people in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Refugee families are also disproportionately affected.

Supported by case examples, the report looks at some of the situations in which DNA testing is required and the impacts on families, because of the long delays and the expense.

In the report, the CCR calls on the Canadian government to:

  • Review current practices relating to DNA testing and their impacts on affected families.
  • Adopt clear guidelines designed to ensure that DNA testing is only used as a last resort

The report is available at:

Colleen French, Communication and Networking Co-ordinator, tel. (514) 277-7223 ext. 1, 514-476-3971 (cell), email: