DNA Testing Option

  1. Eligibility for a CRBA
  2. DNA Testing Option

General Information and Procedures

The Embassy accepts the results of DNA testing to establish parentage. The U.S. Department of State requires DNA tests to be processed by a laboratory that is accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB). If the parents of a child wish to submit DNA test results as evidence to support the application for a derivative citizenship, including “Consular Report of Birth Abroad”, they should advise a consular officer. All costs and related expenses (such as doctor’s fees and the cost of transmitting testing materials and samples) must be borne exclusively by the applicant.

The testing option is normally offered to applicants who have tried, but have been unable, to meet the legal requirement of establishing a biological relationship (filiation) on which nationality may be based.

The Embassy does not “order” DNA tests. Testing is strictly voluntary, even in questionable cases where parentage evidence is unavailable or unsatisfactory.

Not all cases can be resolved by DNA testing. In cases where the lack of required physical presence in the U.S. by the transmitting parent prior to applicant’s birth or lack of legitimation means that filiation is irrelevant, DNA testing will NOT be offered to establish parentage.

The Embassy prefers the collection of DNA by buccal (cheek or mouth cavity) swab. For collection other than by buccal swab, advance approval from the State Department is needed, adding more time to the process.

(This procedure applies only to individuals who will be tested either in Togo or in the United States. When a person is located outside of Togo or the United States, the DNA kit should be sent to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in that country).

1. The consular officer reviews the case and recommends DNA testing, if necessary, to resolve filiation.

2. The consular officer or local staff provides the DNA information sheet to the applicant.

3. The applicant must select a testing facility from the AABB list found on their website http://www.aabb.org/sa/facilities/Pages/RTestAccrFac.aspx  and make arrangements for payment and shipment, and request the necessary number of kits be sent in their name to the Embassy. The AABB’s email address is aabb@aabb.org.  

4. When testing kits arrive at the Embassy, the Embassy will contact you to arrange for an appointment for the DNA specimen collection, which will be conducted at the Embassy.

5. On the collection appointment date:

  1. Applicant proceeds to the Embassy to pay the collection fee of 12,000 CFA.
  2. After paying, the specimen collection will be conducted.
  3. All parties having a DNA specimen collection need to bring appropriate ID to the collection appointment. Adults should bring a passport or valid government issued ID and school aged children should bring a school-issued ID; a copy of the birth certificate will be provided for non-school aged children.
  4. DNA specimen will be collected by a medical technologist and witnessed by an American officer (at the collection area inside the Embassy).
  5. DNA test kits in sealed envelopes are then shipped back to the AABB-accredited laboratory for interpretation/matching.

6. The AABB-accredited laboratory will send the test results directly to the Embassy’s Consular Section.

7. Upon receipt of the results, the Embassy will take appropriate action on the application. Please note that in accordance with Department of State’s guidelines, the Embassy cannot give copies of DNA test results directly to applicants or other parties without express consent of the Department of State. Applicants should inquire with the selected laboratory about receiving a copy of the results directly.

If you have any other questions about your application or DNA testing procedures, please feel free to contact us via email at consularlome@state.gov.