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French Nationality Law Through the Years

Could DNA Testing for Genealogy Be Permitted in France?

Photo 51

Tomorrow we go to the polls again in France, this time for the run-off election for the legislature. All predictions say that the party of the newly elected President Emmanuel Macron, La République en March! (REM), will be the winner. This is expected to give President Macron (who is referred to by the press as "The Kid") a majority of supporters among legislators that could lead to many of his proposals becoming law.

President Macron is an educated man with an appreciation for sound science. While still campaigning, he issued a video in English encouraging American scientists, particularly disappointed climate scientists, to come to France, where their work would be supported, encouraged and, best of all, funded. 


Since becoming president, he has made a number of pro-science moves, including the "Make Our Planet Great Again", which offers foreign scientists four-year grants worth up to one and a half million euros each to come to France to do their research.

Is this a new Enlightenment? If so, will it open the door to DNA testing for genealogical purposes here? To date, such testing has been banned in France on grounds that it could be a violation of bioethics, as we explained in this post. Now, however, many in the French genealogy community, with the well-known Guillaume de Morant at the vanguard, have launched a petition asking parliament to review and change the restriction. Those of you who have attempted to trace French ancestors via DNA testing are aware of the shallowness of the French DNA pool in genealogy databases, (in spite of some one hundred thousand French people per year using the post to have foreign companies test their DNA). Should you wish to see this improve, we suggest that you sign the petition.

It will be interesting to see how far the pro-science stance of the new President and legislature will reach.

©2017 Anne Morddel

French Genealogy