DNA Testing for Australian Intended Parents (Ukraine/Georgia)

Written by: Sam Everingham

For those intended parents undertaking international surrogacy in Georgia or Ukraine, it is important to be aware that your baby or babies will be born stateless and that you will need to apply for Australian citizenship by descent before you can come back home. In order to prove a biological relationship, The Department of Home Affairs will request that you undergo DNA testing.

The DNA testing process is essentially the same for both countries, with a few exceptions, which will be highlighted below.

First of all, congratulations on your impending arrival! It’s a good idea to contact a NATA accredited DNA testing facility such as Identilab once you have an established pregnancy in order to gather information on price and get a feel for customer service.  

Many of Identilab’s intended parents elect to have their sample collected prior to birth while they are still in Australia. If this is your preference, we will send out a DNA collection kit directly to you that comes with full instructions, a consent form that needs to be completed by you and witnessed by a Justice of the Peace, Commissioner for Declarations or legal practitioner, and a sample pack that contains everything your chosen medical professional needs to collect your sample. We recommend your regular family GP or clinic nurse for this, or we may be able to provide you with a request form to attend your nearest pathology collection centre. We also offer free collection appointments in our office if you are local to the Brisbane area. Once we have your sample back in the lab, we will store it safely until bub’s sample is received. 

If you prefer to wait, are already overseas awaiting the birth or your baby has already arrived when you engage Identilab, you can have your sample collected at the same time as your baby. Overseas samples can only be collected by panel physicians that have been approved by the Department of Home Affairs.

In Georgia, the approved clinic for collections is the Medical Center Cito at Paliashvili 40, 0179 Tbilisi, Georgia. You can contact them directly when you are ready to attend the sample collection. You will need to take passport photographs of you (if having your sample collected there) and your baby, and their birth certificate (translated into English) along to the collection. There will be a fee that is payable directly to the clinic at the time of the appointment for the Doctor’s time in attending to the collection, which is not included in the DNA testing fees. Samples are returned to Identilab’s facility in Brisbane via our courier network, and we will advise you as soon as they are received.

In Ukraine, the approved clinic for collections is the International Organisation for Migration at 15 Tarasivska Street, Kyiv. You will need to have submitted your citizenship by descent application to the Department of Home Affairs and received what they call a “letter of offer” before you can book the sample collection appointment in Kyiv. Samples cannot be collected without this request. You will need to take passport photographs of you (if having your sample collected there) and your baby, and their birth certificate (translated into English) along to the collection. There will be a fee that is payable directly to the clinic at the time of the appointment for the Doctor’s time in attending to the collection, which is not included in the DNA testing fees. Due to issues with Customs in Ukraine, samples cannot be sent directly to Identilab via our courier network, and instead are sent to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra via diplomatic bag on Wednesdays, who then forward them on to us. We will advise you as soon as they are received.

Once we have everyone’s samples in the laboratory, we perform our analysis with the highest priority and issue your results within 2 business days of receipt. The results will be sent to you and to Home Affairs in Hobart, who manages these applications for citizens in Georgia, or to Home Affairs in London, who manages these applications for citizens in Ukraine. Once the Department has granted citizenship, you will then need to apply for your baby’s passport before you can come home.

Identilab is highly experienced in providing DNA evidence to clients locally and abroad and is proud to be the preferred provider of DNA testing services for Growing Families. Identilab has a special interest in surrogacy DNA testing as our Director, Kate, has been on this path herself. It is our privilege to be able to assist with this part of your journey and we offer special pricing and express processing at no additional charge for our surrogacy families. If you are expecting a baby overseas in the coming months (or have already welcomed one) and have questions about the DNA testing procedure, please contact us by phone on 1300 114 294 or via email at [email protected]

This article was written by:

Sam Everingham

Sam Everingham is the founder of Growing Families. He has extensive global networks with surrogacy researchers, families, agencies, and reproductive specialists, and has been helping couples and singles with their family building journey for over a decade. He is a regular media commentator and has co-authored articles on surrogacy in several reputable journals.

Read more about Sam Everingham

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