U.S. turning to DNA to prove family ties

Via The Seattle Times
08/24/2006

After waiting nearly 12 years to help his sister and her family
obtain green cards so they could move to the U.S., Nak Sieng faced one
final hurdle: proving he and his sister really are related.

An exercise that might have been simple for some was a monumental
challenge for the siblings who had lived through Cambodia’s
revolutionary war and, as a result, couldn’t obtain certain documents —
like birth certificates or school or medical records — to prove their
relationship.

Childhood photos the family was able to save from the war years were
too old, authorities told them. And photos from Sieng’s more recent
visits to Cambodia in 2000 were too new.

Then U.S. embassy officials in Thailand asked for a kind of evidence
that attorneys say is becoming increasingly common in immigration
cases: a DNA test.

The test proved unequivocally that the two are brother and sister.

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