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The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok accepts the DNA paternity tests of our laboratory in the USA, as it has countless times over the years.
It is a much more expensive test than either the personal DNA test or the legal chain of custody DNA test done in our office. Yes, much more expensive than both. Therefore, it is best if you do the U.S. Embassy way only if it is required. You should go to the embassy first to find out whether or not a DNA test is required before you do a DNA test according to the US Embassy requirements.
The U.S. government has changed its regulations on DNA paternity testing over the years, so it is important you conform to their current requirements.
Beware of slick and overly promotional websites who just want to sell you their service with misleading statements, as you could find out that you've paid for a service which could be rejected by the US Embassy in the end. Even if they say very clearly that the U.S. Embassy accepts their tests ... you had better be aware of what the U.S. Embassy says.
We are not asking you to pay us for a test. We are giving you real advice, and for free.
The Do-It-Yourself alternative is what you should do when the U.S. Embassy requires a DNA test, even though it is difficult and tedious, and very expensive, approximately 3 TIMES the cost of our personal DNA test, total. Let me explain.
First of all, very simply, there are no AABB Accredited laboratories in Thailand. There are Thailand based representatives and corporate partners of US-based AABB Accredited laboratories, such as our Thailand company, but that is different.
The U.S. government generally requires that you contact an AABB Accredited laboratory in the USA directly, not anybody in Bangkok or Thailand outside the U.S. Embassy, when the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok requires a DNA test for passport or immigration purposes.
The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) policy states that "under no circumstances should petitioners use third-party vendors to select their lab, arrange appointments, or transport specimens outside of the lab chain of custody controls." (US Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 9 FAM 42.44 N6 c.) Likewise, the state.gov website (at the time of this website) states "Under no circumstances should a third party be involved in the process of selecting a lab, scheduling the appointment, or any other process outlined in the next steps."
Our laboratory in the USA also confirmed this, many years ago. You must contact them directly for US Embassy tests.
Therefore, while we would like to help you, on the other hand we do not want to jeopardize your test, so we ask that you contact a laboratory in the USA directly, not anybody in Thailand outside of the US Embassy. (As the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services policy states, we cannot help you select your lab, nor arrange appointments... People call us from time to time about DNA testing for the US Embassy and I can explain some things to clarify matters and point them in the right direction, but we don't benefit, it is just helping people for free.)
When the US Embassy requires a DNA test, they give you a link on the website of the AABB in the US which lists approved laboratories. You will NOT find any places in Bangkok or all of Thailand on that list, but you WILL find our laboratory in the USA on that list.
You must contact one of those laboratories on their list.
Laboratories charge you for a legal chain of custody test -- the most expensive. And that's not all you will pay ... because the US Embassy in Bangkok requires you to pay a very high fee just to be swabbed inside the US Embassy by their panel physician, as discussed in a paragraph below.
The laboratory in the USA will collect a lot of information about you and your case from the US Embassy in Bangkok, take your money via credit card or whatever they will accept, with their own fee usually fully paid in advance, and will get in contact with the US Embassy in Bangkok directly from the USA. They will send all the DNA sample collection materials to the US Embassy plus a prepaid return envelope.
After that, you will schedule an appointment at the embassy for the DNA test. The DNA samples will be collected inside the US Embassy.
In Thailand, you will pay an additional 4200 baht per person just to be cheek swabbed inside the embassy by an embassy designated sample collection agent (who has nothing to do with the DNA laboratory or its associates), i.e., for three people -- child, mother, and alleged father -- that is 12,600 baht. Yes, this is in addition to the costs of the legal chain of custody test which you pay to the laboratory in the USA.
That said, if you are not sure whether or not you are the biological father, then you may want to get a DNA test at our office before you go to the US Embassy, or have one of our DNA sample collection agents go to your location if the baby is outside of Bangkok. You will find out much more quickly and cheaply whether or not you are the biological father, and without all the bureaucracy (the above is just a shortened list of steps for the embassy test). If you are the biological father, then you can start the long process of applying for the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CBRA) which establishes the child as a US citizen, after which you can get a US passport for the child.
Whether or not a DNA test is required is up to the consular officer handling your case. It depends on the circumstances. A DNA test may not be required. Indeed, a DNA test is often not required!
People have asked us whether the U.S. Embassy has ever accepted our DNA report from our office in Bangkok (for the parties swabbed by us in Thailand whereby we managed the case as if it was a non-embassy case). The answer is yes, but NOT when it was required in advance, AND we wouldn't recommend you try it this way UNLESS you first want to find out for sure whether or not you are the biological father BEFORE going to the US Embassy to apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), a passport, or immigration.
We recommend you get a DNA test only if you are not sure that you are the biological father.
After all, men who have been married to a Thai lady and had a child who they already got US citizenship for, have come to us later to do a DNA paternity test because they started to question whether or not they are the biological father.
As with other countries, if you get citizenship for a child at your embassy, and later find out that you are not the biological father, then you have another very expensive, time consuming, and tedious process to deal with that, if you want to avoid any potential problems with being the legal father. We've encountered this situation with men who have come to us for the first time after they were already the legal father and obtained citizenship for the child at their embassy, but later started to question whether or not they are truly the biological father, and found out from our DNA test that they are not the biological father after all. It is not so simple as just "deleting" a citizen, such as all their records everywhere.
The U.S. government's requirements for DNA paternity testing are spelled out here:
AABB = American Association of Blood Banks, which is the authority in the USA for immigration purposes.
The Managing Director of our company, Mark Prado, worked for the US government before so is familiar in general with how some things are done. He came here in 1994 because the Asia Regional Office is in Bangkok, Thailand, but afterwards switched to purely private sector work. He has completed an AABB training program and passed the exam for DNA relationship testing sample collection.
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