DNA testing for family reunification is a highly controversial practice, as it is a battleground of conflicting values and interests which have to be carefully weighed up against each other: on the one hand, the right of the sovereign state to regulate immigration and prevent fraud and child trafficking. On the other hand right of the individual person to privacy and family life, widely conceived as a necessary condition for personal autonomy and liberty. The ethical problems posed by the use of DNA analysis for family reunification are complicated further by the fact that the agents involved in the procedure are not only the state and the individual immigrants. The key role accorded to the family in modern, industrialised, highly complex societies in which economic production takes place outside the family is grounded in the notion that the societal subsystem of the family fulfils the essential functions of reproduction and socialisation of the members of society.