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PrenataL Screening Program

A scientist holds test tube in a laboratoryWhat Happens to my Blood Sample after Prenatal Screening?

Whether to support research is your choice

When you have your blood drawn for prenatal screening through the California Prenatal Screening Program, it can be used later for research to prevent birth defects. This state program is part of the Genetic Disease Screening Program (GDSP) in the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

GDSP collects information on birth defects and is recognized as a model for birth defects tracking (surveillance). It stores blood samples and may use them to help approved researchers study the causes of birth defects and other childhood health problems.

CDPH must approve all research studies that use any blood samples collected by the PNS Program. CDPH follows all state and federal confidentiality and privacy laws. This means that any patient-identifying information will not be released for any research studies. 

How to say no to the use of your blood sample for research

You can request that your blood sample not be used for research when you sign the consent-to-screen form. You can do this by asking your prenatal care provider to check the required box on the consent form.

If you say “no” to using your blood sample for research, the sample will be destroyed after your screening result is complete and reported to your prenatal care provider. Saying no to research will not affect your health care or screening results in any way.

California law does not allow the use of screening results by insurance companies or employers to discriminate against an individual. If you believe that you have experienced discrimination because of prenatal screening, report it to the Division Chief of the Genetic Disease Screening Program at the following mailing address or email address:

California Department of Public Health
Division Chief, Genetic Disease Screening Program
Prenatal Screening Program
850 Marina Bay Parkway, F175
Richmond, CA 94804

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