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IGGM Frequently Asked Questions

What types of cases does FamilyTreeDNA allow law enforcement to upload for matching?

  • To identify the remains of a deceased individual, regardless of whether or not the deceased individual is a suspected homicide victim; and
  • To identify a perpetrator of, or suspect in, a Violent Crime or person who has attempted to commit a Violent Crime, including, but not limited to, when the circumstances surrounding the criminal act or acts present an ongoing threat to public safety or national security.

Which law enforcement agencies does FamilyTreeDNA work with?

Any United States law enforcement agency wishing to utilize the Service for one of the purposes stated in the previous question may submit a formal request to submit a sample or upload a file. Law enforcement requests are reviewed for approval on a case-by-case basis and must meet the requirements set forth in our Law Enforcement Guide to be permitted to upload a file to the database for matching purposes.

Does or will FamilyTreeDNA work with agencies outside the United States, such as Canada, Mexico, Europe, or other countries? What are the limitations?

FamilyTreeDNA allows US law enforcement agencies to register for uploads and will consider working with non-US agencies on a case-by-case basis.

Does FamilyTreeDNA have partnerships with other organizations, such as Bode Technology, that are working on behalf of law enforcement?

FamilyTreeDNA has a partnership with Othram for Investigative Genetic Genealogy cases. We also have a fee-for-service relationship which is provided on a case-by-case basis. For more information, see our Law Enforcement Guide.

What is the Service that Gene by Gene/FamilyTreeDNA provides to law enforcement agencies?

For a fee, the Gene by Gene lab will process forensic samples for law enforcement agencies or legally authorized third parties working on behalf of law enforcement agencies. On a case-by-case basis and only if all requirements are met, FamilyTreeDNA will create an Investigative Genetic Genealogy user account for each genetic file uploaded for law enforcement purposes. Investigative Genetic Genealogy user accounts are given the same access as any other user participating in matching.  For more information, see our Law Enforcement Guide.

Has law enforcement paid for or been given any additional access beyond the Services stated?

No. For law enforcement, or their third parties, to obtain any further details about a match or user account beyond what they are currently given access to, they would need to submit a court-ordered search warrant or a subpoena.

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