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Paternity Test Abroad for Children of Israeli Citizens

Joshua Pex
Joshua Pex

Stuart Safft

I am delighted to report that my wife and I have just obtained our Israeli citizenship. We will be forever grateful for all of the help, guidance and support which Ariel Galili of Decker, Pex & Co. provided through this process.
I am a Jewish, 80-year-old American, and my wife is not Jewish. We had started the process on our own back in November 2020 via the Jewish Agency and Nefesh B’Nefesh, but soon became entangled in the delays and often-changing regulations due to Covid-19. The pandemic also caused delays in obtaining the required apostilles for various documents from various state agencies and the US State Department.
We found Decker, Pex & Co. On the internet and began working with Ariel in late November 2021. Ariel did a superb job of leading us through the process, helping us to understand which documents were essential, which would most likely be required, and which, though included on the list of required documents, were rarely required. He helped us several times to understand what was likely and unlikely to occur as “the next step.” Helping us manage our expectations was extremely useful to us.
Besides his knowing the laws, regulations and procedures, Ariel also made us feel that he was truly interested in helping us to successfully work through this process in as smooth, timely, and frustration-free manner as possible.
My wife and I strongly recommend anyone planning to go through this process seriously consider hiring Decker, Pex, Ofir & Co. and, specifically, Ariel Galili.

Everyone reading this is probably aware of the reasons why an Israeli citizen may be required to submit a paternity test abroad to prove that they are parents to a child born outside Israel. If for some reason you don’t know, read through this informative post by our lawyers from our law firm specializing in immigration to Israel and Israeli citizenship rights. A short summary follows below.

The Child paternity test israeli citizenship paternity test abroadof an Israeli Citizen Is Also an Israeli Citizen

In short, a child born to an Israeli citizen in Israel or abroad is also an Israeli citizen according to the 1952 Israeli Law of Citizenship. The question of parenthood is resolved automatically for the Israeli mother, *but the process is more complex when only the father is an Israeli. The state of Israel will acknowledge the child of an Israeli father and a non-Israeli mother as an Israeli citizen if the child’s paternity is well established. The paternity is established by default if the state of Israel recognizes the relationship between the child’s parents as “valid.”

Valid relationships include marriage or common-law marriage entered at least 10 months or 300 days before the birth of the child. If the state recognizes the “sincerity” or validity of the relationship, the parents can approach an Israeli Consulate abroad within 30 days of the birth, present their documents, and receive acknowledgement of the child as an Israeli citizen. This recognition of the child as an Israeli citizen grants the child an Israeli passport, and the child is entered into the Israeli population registry.

Note that this is the only official procedure for recognition of the child as the child of a citizen by the state of Israel. Foreign documents stating that the Israeli citizen is the father, such as a foreign birth certificate presented on their own, may be ignored

When Will You Be Required to Take a Paternity Test Abroad?

If the couple has broken up or if the state of Israel refuses to recognize their relationship, the father may be required to submit to a paternity test to determine that the child is his. Not just any paternity test will do; DNA tests by non-Israeli institutions will be rejected out of hand. The only officially acceptable paternity test is conducted by the Israeli Family Court order. The court will specify which of the limited number of officially qualified Israeli laboratories or institutions will be in charge of the DNA test. Since the court determines which lab does the test, the applicant has no need to find that information.

The Actual Israeli DNA Test Procedure

The institute specified by the Israeli Family Court will submit the test kit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ministry will deliver the kit to the Israeli Consulate in the country the subject resides in. The subject and his child must report at the consulate, present their identifying papers, and submit a saliva (spit) sample. The sample is collected via the kit, sealed, and sent back to the institution of origin. Once analyzed, a sealed envelope with the results is sent to the Family Court judge who makes a decision based on the test results.


Due to the sensitivity of the information involved, great effort is made to ensure that the test results remain confidential. The workers in charge of testing the saliva sample do not know the name of the subject. Those in charge of sending the results to the Family Court judge do not know the results the envelope contains. All genetic material is destroyed shortly after the test is conducted and the court receives the result.

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Please contact our law firm for more information about paternity tests abroad, paternity tests in Israel, and questions about receiving Israeli citizenship.

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