This paper proposes a genetic algorithm to generate and optimize assembly sequences for compliant assemblies. An assembly modeling is presented to describe the geometry of the assembly, which includes three sets of parts, relationships and joints among the parts. Based on the assembly modeling, an assembly sequence is denoted as an individual, which is assigned an evaluation function that consists of the fitness and constraint functions. The fitness function is used to evaluate feasible sequences; in addition, the constraint function is employed to evolve unfeasible sequences. The genetic algorithm starts with a randomly initial population of chromosomes, evolves new populations by using reproduction, crossover and mutation operations, and terminates until acceptable sequences output. Finally an auto-body side assembly is used to illustrate the algorithm of assembly sequence generation and optimization.