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Aviv’s Story (Paternity Test)


Joshua Pex

Other articles on the Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh law firm site detail the procedure for gaining recognition of a child born to an Israeli citizen and a non-Israeli citizen. There is also an article detailing the procedure for undergoing a paternity test abroad in order for the state of Israel to recognize the child of an Israeli father. But how does the matter work in practice? How might it work for specific individuals who are represented by Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh, a law firm that specializes in immigration to Israel and Israeli citizenship?

The following story is based on true events though the names have been changed to protect the privacy of the parties involved.

Aviv’s Story

Aviv (a pseudonym) was born and raised on an Israeli kibbutz where his parents, British immigrants to Israel, reside to this day. Like many Israelis and many more kibbuzniks, he finished his military service with distinction before deciding to take a trip abroad to “find himself.” Unlike many Israelis, he found so much more: love, employment in his vocation as a jazz musician, and eventually, a bouncing baby girl.

 בדיקת אבהות אזרחות ישראלית paternity test israeli citizenshipUnfortunately, due to circumstances too complex to detail here, the Thai mother of his child left them both, marrying another man. Done with Thailand, Aviv used his British citizenship to move to London and then to Scotland. He spent about six years developing his career as a jazz musician before (possibly due to recent political developments) deciding to make sure that his daughter had Israeli citizenship and an Israeli passport.

Trouble with Registering a Child as a Citizen

Like many people who do not browse useful law firm sites for fun and profit, he was astonished to discover that the process was more complex than he had anticipated. The Israeli Ministry of Interior had a number of objections:

  1. He did not register his daughter as an Israeli citizen within the allotted 30 days from the moment of her birth.
  2. He and her Thai mother were never lawfully wed.
  3. The Thai documents he provided, the birth certificate and passport, which listed him as the father, were somewhat lax in form and content. The Ministry of Interior’s reply was, “These documents are suspiciously Asian.”

Even presenting copies of the Thai documents, accompanied by a writ from a Thai court granting him sole custody of his daughter, duly legalized in the Israeli Consulate, were not enough. A DNA paternity test conducted by a Thai clinic and legalized by the Israeli Consulate was dismissed out of hand. Aviv’s request to have his daughter be registered as an Israeli citizen was denied, and he could not travel to Israel with her as he was afraid of being turned back at border control.

Qualified Legal Aid

Aviv had no choice but to acquire legal representation to help him with his struggle. He approached Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh, an Israeli law firm that specializes in immigration to Israel and Israeli citizenship. Our law firm approached the Ministry of Interior and was directed to the Family Affairs Court, which requested a paternity test abroad to be sent to the Israeli Consulate in Glazgo, Scotland.

Once the DNA test came back affirming that Aviv was in fact the father, the Family Court provided a verdict recognizing this fact. The rest was a matter of technicality. At the same time, it was a somewhat complex technicality navigating Israeli bureaucracy between the Family Matters Court and the Ministry of Interior and re-submitting various legal documents and letters.

In the end, Aviv’s daughter was granted Israeli citizenship and an Israeli passport.

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