Can You Get DNA From Cremation Ashes?

Can you get DNA from a cremated body?

No. DNA cannot be extracted from cremation ashes. There are some people and companies who confuse a burned body that has some of the bones available and the bones may be able to preserve a person’s DNA with the process of cremation.

If a person who has recently deceased is cremated their body will be burnt to ashes and therefore no DNA samples can be extracted from the ashes. There may be instances where there are some remating bone shards but, the rate of success in extracting DNA is low.

It is recommended that DNA samples are collected before cremation takes place.

Some of the most common samples collected from a deceased person are blood card samples, and hair or bone samples. The earlier the samples are collected by the coroner it will provide you with more opportunities to acquire forensic samples that can be used to extract a DNA profile.

If you require DNA testing on a deceased person. It is recommended that you contact the coroner’s office immediately and request a blood card sample of hair follicle samples.

A blood card is the best sample to acquire if possible, then hair, and finally bone. If bone samples are your only option. The bones that are preferred for this type of DNA testing are femurs and molars.

What is cremation?

Cremation is the process of reducing a body to its basic elements through the use of high temperatures. The result of this process is cremated remains, or ashes.

While cremation does reduce the body to ashes, it does not completely eliminate all traces of the body. In fact, DNA can still be present in cremated remains.

Alternative Relationship Testing Options:

In the event, you are unable to acquire a DNA test from a deceased person. We offer some alternative DNA testing options such as a grandparent DNA test, sibling DNA test, or an avuncular DNA test.

For information regarding DNA testing with a deceased person. Contact our office today at 973-609-5102.

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2 Comments

    1. Benjamin S. says:

      Ashes are not considered a viable sample for DNA extraction. The high heat during the cremation process destroys DNA. I hope this helps

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