Privacy Right does not require private DNA testing for paternity.by Geoffrey A. Norris on 12/05/12
A recent case entitled County of San Diego v. Mason, (2012) 209 Cal.App. 4th 376 has held that an alleged father does not have a constitutional privacy right to force DCSS to use a private DNA testing facility. In this case, the father alleged that the use of the DCSS government testing facility might make his DNA available to the government for other purposes than paternity. The court found that the restrictions on the DNA being released for the purposes of paternity only under Family Code §17212 protected the alleged father from release of his DNA for other purposes such as for sharing it with CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) used by law enforcement to solve crimes. The court also cited to the federal law protecting release of the alleged father’s DNA under the HIPPA statutes. Interestingly, the father refused to provide his DNA to the county laboratory even after being ordered to do so such that the court entered a judgment of paternity against him under Family Code §7551 without his DNA being tested.