What is the process for banking DNA?
The SUDC Foundation is here to help with any or all of this. We know banking your child’s DNA can be emotionally difficult and logistically complicated. review the steps below and contact the SUDC Foundation when/if you want any assistance or with any questions.
1. Contact the medical examiner or coroner to learn what samples are available, how they are stored (including temperature) and what preservatives, if any, have been used. We understand having these discussions about your child can be difficult, so please let the SUDC Foundation know if it can help collect and evaluate this information.
2. If it it is likely there is a viable sample, contact your medical examiner's or coroner's office to inform them of your desire to bank a genetic sample from your child for family screening and future research and ask about its policy and process for doing so. Some offices may require a court order, but most ask the request in writing from the next of kin to authorize release. This can usually be granted only after the case investigation is completed. It is helpful for them to know it is not for legal proceedings.
3. Fill out the proper contract agreement from the DNA banking lab you choose. Keep in mind most are written with living subjects in mind. The “depositor” is the child who died.
4. Once the lab receives your contract and sets up your account, , contact your medical examiner’s or coroner’s office to request transfer of the specimen to the DNA bank. It is VERY important that the sample be shipped at the same temperature it is stored at the medical examiner’s or coroner’s office. Follow the guidelines mentioned above to assist in fulfilling your request and maintaining the viability of the sample.
5. Once the banking and extraction is complete, you will receive a letter with information on the viability of the sample as well as the amount and quality of DNA. This will allow you to make future decisions on if and when to use it.
If you have any questions, please contact the SUDC Foundation for assistance. The SUDC Foundation is here to help with any or all of this process.