DNA Testing Procedures
DNA testing analyzes the genetic material present in human cells and has been found to be over 99 percent accurate in verifying family relationships such as: parent/child, brother/sister, etc. The testing is entirely voluntary and all costs and expenses associated with it must be borne entirely by the passport applicant and/or his or her family. The results are typically available within a month (this varies by lab).
Do not order a DNA test kit until you have discussed your case with a consular officer.
Choose an Accredited Lab
You may use any DNA laboratory that is accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) and that conducts buccal swab testing.
Testing can be conducted in the United States or at a laboratory overseas. The laboratory conducting the tests should send the test results and an interpretation of the data to the U.S. Embassy directly. All expenses must be borne by you, including shipping costs, and must be paid in advance.
If you choose to have DNA test conducted in the United States, the drawing of the blood samples and the conduct of the tests must be in accordance with the joint AMA-ABA Guidelines and the guidelines set forth by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB). The laboratory will provide kits and instructions which should be forwarded to the American Citizen Services, Consular Section, American Embassy, 21 Novinskiy Blvd., Moscow, Russia. The Embassy can make arrangements for swab samples to be drawn from the parent(s) and the child in the presence of a physician/technician selected by the Embassy following the instructions to draw the samples provided by the laboratory, and for shipment of the samples to the accredited laboratory of your choice. The laboratory must be one on the Department of State’s list of accredited laboratories or otherwise present copies of its credentials to the Department for consideration. The list of laboratories in the United States accredited by the AABB is posted on its web site www.aabb.org.
If you decide to submit to DNA testing to be conducted by a foreign facility or a facility not on the enclosed list of laboratories, the laboratory must submit its credentials and testing criteria to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow to ensure that it is comparable to the professional standards of the AABB and the joint AMA/ABA guidelines. Procedures for drawing and shipping the swab samples would be as described above, following specific instructions of the testing laboratory, under the auspices of a physician/technician selected by the Embassy.
Please ensure that the DNA laboratory you choose:
- Is willing to process the testing for the relationship under question (not all tests are for paternity);
- Is willing to handle international shipments including providing the necessary customs clearance forms; and
- Will forward the buccal swab test kit to the Embassy with a pre-paid return envelope.
Please DO NOT use a third party to select your U.S.-based lab, arrange appointments, or transport specimens, and at no time should the lab sent you a testing kit. If this happens, please inform us immediately at MoscowWarden@state.gov.
When the Embassy receives the testing kit, we will contact the applicant in writing or by telephone and schedule the appointment date for collecting the DNA sample. Appointments cannot be scheduled to collect the DNA specimen before the Embassy receives the test kit.
The applicant should arrive at the Consular Section at least 15 minutes prior to their appointment. Please note that phones, blackberries, cameras and other electronic items are not allowed inside the Embassy.
Passport/Consular Report of Birth applicants must bring these documents to the DNA collection appointment at the Embassy:
- Original birth certificate and a photocopy of the same for the child.
- Original passports of the accompanying US citizen parent(s) of the child. No other form of ID for the U.S. citizen parent is accepted.
- One photograph of the child and accompanying US citizen parent(s).
All fees, including return shipping charges, must be paid by the applicant BEFORE the lab sends the kit to the Embassy.
After the Test
The DNA test facility will send the results directly to the Embassy. We will contact you with the results.
Questions and Contact Information