TCSEP will work to legally establish paternity in the Tribal Court pursuant to CS&KT Laws Codified. In the event that the paternity cannot be established by the Tribal Court, TCSEP will refer the case to the appropriate IV-D Program for establishment of paternity.

Establishing Paternity
When TCSEP opens a case, in which legal paternity of the minor child(ren) involved has not yet been established, the following procedure will be followed:

1)    A paternity interview with the mother of the child(ren) will be conducted by the TCSEP assigned TCSEP Case Manager.

2)    During the interview, the TCSEP Case Manager will verify if domestic violence is an issue in the case and will update the file with copies of any protective orders. The interview will also verify if there are any reasons that the establishment of paternity would not be in the best interest of the child(ren). TCSEP is not required to proceed with paternity establishment, if any of the following circumstances exist, including but not limited to:

i.    The child was conceived as the result of rape or incest;

ii.    Danger of domestic violence;

iii.    Adoption proceedings are pending on the child(ren). In these cases the TCSEP Case Manager will consult with the TCSEP Project Director to determine the appropriate course of action.

3)    All participants identified in the paternity interview may be required to submit to paternity testing unless good cause exists not to require such testing. Participants will still be given the opportunity to submit to genetic testing.

4)    In cases where the probability of paternity has been established with the alleged father and the participants are in agreement with the paternity order, the alleged father will be given the opportunity to sign a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity.

5)    In cases where the participants do not reach an agreed Paternity Order, the TCSEP Case Manager will forward the case to the TCSEP Attorney who will file an action with the Tribal Court to legally establish paternity.

Genetic Testing
Genetic testing will only occur after a paternity interview and paternity questionnaire is complete. Only those TCSEP staff members who have received training as buccal swab specimen collectors may administer paternity tests. Paternity testing will be performed by appointment only. Two (2) TCSEP staff members will be present for each paternity test for more accurate and efficient results.

Paternity Swab Collection Procedure:

1)    Gloves must be worn throughout the collection and packaging procedure.

2)    Perform the entire procedure on one subject at a time. Make sure the swabs are labeled and enclosed in the color-coded envelopes before collecting the next subject’s sample.

3)    Label the color-coded envelopes with the following information:

•    Subject’s name exactly as it appears on the client authorization form;

•    Signature acknowledging correct identity of specimen;

•    Date of collection; and

•    Initials of the individual performing the collection.

4)    Remove the swab from the sterile package.

5)    Brush vigorously against the inside of the subject’s cheek with the swab.

6)    Collect four swabs per subject (two per cheek).

7)    Swabs must be collected one at a time, keeping separate at all times.

8)    Write the subject’s name on the swab label exactly as it appears on the client authorization form, wrap the label around all four swab sticks and place them in the color-coded envelope.

9)    Be sure to place the swabs in the appropriate envelope (pink/mother, yellow/child, blue/alleged father, white/additional child or alleged father). In the case of additional parties please specify the relationship on the envelope.

10)    Insert the collected samples, client authorization form, court orders, affidavits, photos etc. into preaddressed mailer. Seal the flap insert completed collection kit into the provided carrier packaging (Federal Express).

Each person is photographed as part of the procedure.

TCSEP utilizes an accredited genetic testing laboratory of reputable standing. All TCSEP staff must be trained and certified to collect DNA samples and this collection will take place in approved locations of TCSEP offices. Genetic samples will be sent to the lab via overnight express courier. Results will be received back in approximately three (3) weeks and the appropriate TCSEP Case Manager will notify the participants of the test results. In cases where the test results reveal complicated factors, the TCSEP Case Manager will consult the TCSEP Project Director to determine the best course of action.

TCSEP will provide free genetic testing in all appropriate Child Support cases, except in the following circumstances:

1)    It can be shown that a natural mother knowingly gave false information on the identity of the alleged father that resulted in an unnecessary test, in which case she may be charged with the costs incurred by TCSEP;

2)    In cases where a parent or the alleged father disputes the results of the test and re-testing confirms the original test; and

3)    TCSEP will NOT perform genetic testing for enrollment purposes.

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