Creating a DNA – Fingerprint ID Kit for Your Family

Written by Shannon R on March 25th, 2011

Family Safety
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A DNA/Fingerprint Kit is an identification tool that law enforcement can use to identify your child in the event that they go missing. Parents should keep this information and have it available so that a positive identification can be made of their child.

As a parent, I hate to even think of the possibility that I would ever need to use a DNA/Fingerprint ID Kit for my child, but I am grateful that my father (a retired police officer) gifted me one while I was pregnant.

Having this kit completed and accessible can provide you and your family peace of mind in case the unthinkable happens.  This kit can be stored away in your freezer for use in an emergency.  You can either ask at your local law enforcement agency if they have free kits available or you can make one yourself.

What is in a DNA/Fingerprint Kit

  • Current photo of your child. I update the photo in our kit often to reflect changes in my son’s appearance as he grows.
  • Personal information: name, birth date, blood type, height, weight, parent names and contact number, emergency contact person other then parent, and social security number (I left that blank).
  • Medical records: Doctor’s name and number, medication list, allergies, chronic illnesses, dentist’s name and number.
  • Physical Characteristics: record only permanent markings on the body such as birthmarks, scars etc. You can also write down any other characteristics separately such as glasses, braces, pierced ears, etc.
  • DNA Sample (see below for how to collect the sample)
  • Fingerprints (see below for how to record fingerprints)

How to collect the DNA sample

The kit offers two methods for collecting samples.

  • Swab Method: Swab the inside of the cheek with a clean swab. Avoid touching the end of the swab yourself.  Allow the swab to dry for at least one hour. Place the swab end into a paper envelope and seal it with tape; do not lick the envelope as you may contaminate the sample. Date the envelope with permanent ink and attach to your kit.
  • Hair Method: Take four or five hair samples, including the hair follicles and root (meaning you have to pull it out of your child’s scalp). Place samples in a paper envelope and date with permanent ink, then attach to your kit.

How to make a fingerprint record
You will need to print all ten digits and label each finger and which hand it belongs to.  When you fingerprint your child the best way to get the print is to hold the finger and roll it from left to right.  Only do this once as if you get a double print it will not read correctly.  When you are finished with the print it should look like a square.  If you cannot get your child to cooperate with this method then just touch the finger to the pad once and do not squish the finger as that might smudge the print.  Allow the card to dry completely before storing it.

You can also order your own free DNA/Fingerprint Identification Kit online from the Polly Klaas Foundation.

Resources for Further Information

Family Safety – Natural Parents Network

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

MissingChildren.com

Photo Credits: Author

About The Author: Shannon R

The_ArtsyMama My NPN Posts

Shannon R is a breastfeeding-cloth diapering-working-mother and devoted wife. She is expecting her second child in April. She blogs about breastfeeding, expressing at work and cloth diapering at The Artful Mama.

3 Responses to Creating a DNA – Fingerprint ID Kit for Your Family

  1. jane gordon

    im not sure i really like this idea or not…seems a bit much more info than is really needed…

    • Dionna

      Jane – I’m not sure what you mean, but I can guarantee you that authorities looking for a missing child would appreciate having this resources at their disposal – especially in the horrific case of finding an unidentifiable body.

  2. Shannon R  

    Jane- I second what Dionna said – like I said in the article my father is a former law enforcement agent. He worked in both the youth bureau and the forensic department of his agency and he never had to use this but there have been cases where this information has proved to be useful (both in missing child cases as well as the other end of the spectrum) DNA identification was used in the identification of victims is used in many cases and it is definitely not something we want to think of ever having to use but it is so important to be over-prepared.

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