The use and impacts of direct-to-consumer genetic testing and data platforms for family tracing after adoption or out of home care

A Victorian pilot study

Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing (DTC-GT) services are emerging as a way for those separated from family members by adoption or out of home care, to obtain information or seek connection with their lost kin.

However, practice has outstripped current knowledge and guidance for these vulnerable communities; and the impacts for those who search, those who are searched for, and the organisations that hold records, are not well understood.

This co-designed, Victorian project seeks to understand the effects of using DTC-GT services for the adoption and out of home care communities, and the accompanying ethico-legal issues for data collection, storage, use and disclosure.

This project is supported by the Melbourne Social Equity Institute's 2022 Seed Funding Round.

University-based researchers

Dr Jeanette Conrick, Department of Social Work

Dr Cate O'Neill, Faculty of Arts

Dr Ashley Barnwell, School of Social and Political Sciences

Dr Megan Prictor, Melbourne Law School

Kirsten Wright,  Faculty of Arts

Nicola Laurent, Faculty of Arts

Dr Ralph Hampson, Department of Social Work

External collaborators

Charlotte Smith,  VANISH

Jo Fraser, ARMS

Sharon Guy, Open Place

For information about this project, please contact:

Dr Jeanette Conrick
School of Social Work
Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences