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Evidentiary Status of DNA Testing for Family Relatedness in Danish Family Migration Politics

Thu, August 30, 11:00am to 12:30pm, ICC, E3.3


In this paper I will interrogate the role of DNA testing in applications for family reunification in Denmark. DNA testing has become an integrated feature of the technologisation of border-control in everyday life of crossing borders, which includes documentation for family reunion and therefore even more sophisticated ways of producing and circulating biometric data. Biometric extend the border beyond (inter-)national borders as it comes to regulate the forms and constellation of daily life through governing who is to be considered as legitimate family member through ideas of genetic relatedness (child = parent). This research is based on a 15 months ethnographic study of Danish family reunification practices, where I have been following the production of evidence for family reunification. The materials for this study include information from Immigration Service and State administration, conversations with board members of Marriage without Borders, interviews with forensics medical staff, and family reunification application forms with Children. In this presentation I will engage with the questions that emerged through my ethnographic pursue of family reunification: Who is called to the laboratory for DNA profiling and matching, and under what condition? Overall I am following the connections and interplay between forensic laboratories, scientific methods, and migration politics to investigate production of scientific evidence and its formative role in family making in migration control.