It is an offence contrary to s 45 of the Human Tissue Act 2004 (which repealed and replaced the Human Tissue Act 1961, the Anatomy Act 1984, and the Human Organ Transplants Act 1989) for a person to have any bodily material (that is, any material which has come from a human body and which consists of or contains human cells) intending to analyze the DNA unless the analysis has been consented to or the results are to be used for excepted purposes (including criminal justice purposes). The offence is triable either way and carries a penalty, on conviction on indictment, of three years' imprisonment.
Consent may be given by the person from whose body the material came or, in the case of a child, by someone with parental responsibility. If the material originates from a deceased person then consent must be obtained from the spouse, partner, or qualifying relative (as listed in s 54(9) of the Act). Certain material is outside the scope of the offence altogether. This includes material from a person who died more than 100 years ago and embryos outside the body (to which the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 applies).