Types of DNA Tests
The Commonwealth of Australia can issue an Australian Citizenship by descent visa only if a relationship between an Australian citizen and his or her child can be proved satisfactorily to the Department of Immigration & Citizenship (DIAC).
The commissioning parents will need to choose between a paternity test /and or a maternity test.
- A maternity test will show a probability of maternity of 99.99% if the tested mother is the biological mother of the child.
- A paternity test will show a probability of paternity of 99.99% if the tested father is the biological father of the child.
Proving relationship in cases of surrogacy entails the commissioning parents proving they are biologically related to the child (and the child to the parents) as well as proving they are the legal parents of the child.
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Ensure to chose a laboratory that is accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities of Australia. Results issued by a non- NATA accredited laboratory will not be accepted. The parent/s providing DNA samples will need to sign a consent pro-forma in order for results to be directly disclosed to the Immigration Authorities. The Australia Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship provides more information about DNA testing for Visa and Citizenship applicants , click here.
DNA testing in Cases of Surrogacy
The following are a few important pointers regarding surrogacy and DNA testing
- The Department of Immigration & Citizenship (DIAC) does not cover any part of the costs entailed in DNA testing. The commissioning parents will need to fork out the entire amount.
- The child will be tested in India (or the country of birth) but the commissioning parents will be tested in the Commonwealth of Australia. If testing must take place in India, the parents will need to have their samples collected in Delhi where the required chain of custody can be followed and sample collection witnessed by an Australian official.
- The Australian High Commission in New Delhi will need to be informed of the NATA accredited laboratory chosen to carry out the sample collection.
Surrogacy in India
The costs of surrogacy treatment in countries such as India are more affordable than in Australia and couples thus, venture overseas to have their baby. Once the baby is born, the commissioning parents need to bring the child back to Australia. The Immigration Authorities will need proof that the child was born of an Australian parent/s and can therefore, make a legitimate claim to Australian citizenship by descent; without such proof, the child will not be allowed to stay in Australia or perhaps even enter Australia (depending on whether the child actually has a passport or not).
Although a DNA test can be used as proof of relationship, the commissioning parents are not bound by law to undertake such a test. However, failing to adequately prove a parent-child relationship can hamper or entirely impede the issuing of the required visa. The requirements for eligibility for Australian citizenship by descent are set out in the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 (the Citizenship Act).